“Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; May those who love you be at peace.” Psalms 122:6 (The Israel Bible™)
The Israeli government is launching a campaign to “defend Jerusalem in the international arena” in the wake of United Nations attacks, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin told a gathering of Christian journalists on Monday.
Jerusalem is under “unprecedented assault,” Elkin said, referring to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution, passed on Israel’s Independence Day in May, which completely denies Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
“Today, Jerusalem is at the eye of a storm, under an unprecedented assault born from malice and ignorance that attempts to rewrite her history and erase her deep link to the millennia-old history of the Jewish people,” Elkin said at the Christian Media Summit.
“This assault is directed not only at Jerusalem’s Jewish roots, but also at the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith,” he continued, emphasizing Jerusalem’s importance to Christians and Bible believers.
Jerusalem, he pointed out, is “the birthplace of the Christian faith, in whose streets occurred the defining events of Christian history and consciousness, the Christian story.
“Anyone who attempts to erase from history the Jerusalem of King David and King Solomon, of the greatest of the prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Jerusalem of Ezra and Nechemia, and of the Maccabees, and the Jerusalem of the last days of the Second Temple that served as a central arena for the greatest events the shaped Christian consciousness – that same rewriter of history denies the Bible in its entirety.”
He condemned the recent UNESCO resolutions as “politically motivated attempts to portray the city as holy only to Islam and the Arab nation.”
In response, the minister said, his office, together with the Foreign Ministry, is developing a plan to protect and defend Jerusalem’s historical and spiritual status from hostile enemies on the world stage.
The plan includes bringing “influencers from diverse fields and nations” to Jerusalem in order to expose them to “the past and present of this wondrous city.”
“All who wander even a single day in the streets of ancient Jerusalem, in the City of David, in the Old City, on the Mount of Olives, who touch its stones and listen to what they have to say, will be incapable of taking part in that erasing of the history of this city,” Elkin declared.
The plan includes holding several large conferences in Jerusalem this year for influencers and thought leaders. One of the conferences invites jurists to learn how international law views Jerusalem’s status, another will bring parliamentary friendship caucuses from governments around the world to meet with Israel’s Knesset, and yet a third will host scientists and archaeologists focusing on Jerusalem’s history.
In addition, the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage is establishing an annual international “Defender of Jerusalem” prize, to be awarded to individuals who contribute to “the battle for Jerusalem’s international standing and against the warping of history,” announced Elkin.
The Christian Media Summit is the first-ever government-sponsored gathering of Christian journalists in Israel. Running from October 15 through 18 in Jerusalem, the conference is focused on spreading Israel’s light through faith-based journalism.
Elkin told Breaking Israel News that he hopes the Summit would help bring the truth about the city’s history to the forefront, explaining that Christian journalists serve a strategic and important role in telling Israel’s story.