“It’s one thing to have an online petition and quite another to publicly display the actual names of the signatories on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City,” said United with Israel founder Michael Gerbitz.
Just before Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day, when Israelis and Jews around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the Israeli capital, United with Israel (UWI) visited Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, presenting him with a book of over half a million signatures of people from 168 countries, demanding that Jerusalem remain united as the eternal capital of the Jewish state.
Special editions of this historic book have been produced for US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After the meeting, UWI volunteers hung a massive banner, bearing all the names of the Jerusalem Declaration’s 500,000-plus supporters, on the outer walls of Jerusalem and in several high-traffic locations throughout the Old City.
The extraordinary sign, an impressive feat of Israeli technology and design, was produced using multiple specialized digital printing machines. From a distance, of course, it would be impossible to see the names, but closer up they were clearly visible.
The Jerusalem Declaration was launched several years ago, but what was incredible was that it reached the magic number of half a million exactly when the world was particularly focused on the city of Jerusalem. Not only was it just in time for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification during the Six Day War – between 1948 and 1967, the Old City was occupied by Jordan and Jews had no access to their holiest sites; another coincidence was that it was also just ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Jerusalem, where the city’s status was undoubtedly a major issue in discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
A significant number of signatories are American citizens. All US presidents since 1995 have availed themselves of a provision in the law, allowing the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to be delayed by signing a waiver affirming that in his judgment, it would harm America’s national security interests. The waiver must be signed every six months, and if Trump continues in the path of his predecessors, it must be done by June 1.
“It’s one thing to have an online petition and quite another to publicly display the names of the signatories,” UWI founder Michael Gerbitz explained. “Public display is particularly important regarding the issue of the status of Jerusalem – keeping it united and under Israeli sovereignty – in light of the recent developments that all seemed to come together.”
Those who signed the Jerusalem Declaration hail from diverse countries, including Arab and Islamic countries – Libya, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman and Pakistan, to name a few.
The number of signatories continues to grow. Since the presentation to Barkat, it has already surpassed 540,000.
Hi-Resolution Photos (Credit: UWI/Yissachar Ruas)