'We returned to our home and we will keep it forever'

PM Netanyahu celebrates Jerusalem Day at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Netanyahu at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva
Netanyahu at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah took part on Sunday night in the central event celebrating Jerusalem Day at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva.

"We are celebrating 70 years of the State of Israel, 51 years of the reunification of our capital Jerusalem and I am excited every time I come to this place, my wife and I love you, love you and appreciate your tremendous support," Netanyahu said at the start of his speech.

"Jerusalem Day always begins early in the morning at ceremonies, but for us this celebration is one of the highlights of Jerusalem Day and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts," he continued.

"I believe that we should all be grateful for the privilege that we have to live in Jerusalem. Generations of Jews dreamed of Jerusalem from a distance. For them it was prayer, longing, sometimes a picture on the wall."

"I met our Ethiopian brothers and sisters this morning, thousands of whose relatives perished on the way to Israel, as well as people from other countries who often tell us about their grandparents who were unable to realize their longing for Zion."

"But we, thank G-d, are in a united, glamorous Jerusalem that is built from end to end in a most impressive manner, this is a real redemption."

Netanyahu mentioned the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying, "Tomorrow, a great message of truth will resonate in the streets of Jerusalem. The strongest country in the world will relocate its embassy to Jerusalem after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

"I can already tell you that other countries have followed in the footsteps of the U.S. and will continue to follow it, because many understand the meaning of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, and therefore it is a great privilege to be in Jerusalem, a great privilege, but at the same time we have a great responsibility to protect what was handed over to us from past generations and continue to protect it for future generations.”

"We promise every day that Jerusalem will not return to the status it had 51 years ago, no longer a torn city, but one connected, united city, not a city with barbed wire and minefields. Not a city with enemy crosses on its walls, but a vibrant city, a faithful vision," said Netanyahu, who received a standing ovation.

"We are guarding the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, as well as the other sanctuaries of Israel that returned to us in the miraculous Six Day War, headed by Rachel's Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs. These places are our roots, they contain the point of truth of our right to live as a free nation in its homeland,” he continued.

"What is Jerusalem for us? It’s not just a physical and tangible place. Jerusalem is the source of the faith and hope that strengthened us in difficult times. In the shadow of the Inquisition, the pogroms, the ghettos, in the camps we said one sentence: Next year in Jerusalem."

"We returned to Jerusalem and we are building it, all of it, and even when there was no progress on the horizon, we stuck to the dream, and today the IDF soldiers are standing at the foot of the Western Wall, declaring allegiance to our army and our country. We returned home and we are determined to keep our home forever."