Jerusalem celebrated the IIth anniversary of its re-unification today with a mixture of joy and sadness. As thousands sang and danced in festively decorated streets, the families of the victims of Friday’s terrorist bus bombing began the traditional seven days of mourning for their loved ones.
Mayor Teddy Kollek, who said the celebrations would be held despite the tragedy, declared today that Jews and Arabs live together in united Jerusalem better than heterogeneous population groups in many other cities in the world. The Arab population of Jerusalem has a vested interest in keeping the city calm. “There cannot be tourism and terrorism at the same time,” the Mayor said.
Early this morning, two groups of people passed each other in the streets of Kiryat Moshe near the western outskirts of the city. One was a funeral procession for a victim of Friday’s tragedy. The others were students at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva marching to the Western Wall for an early morning thanksgiving service. Memorial services were held at the Wall, an Ammunition Hill and at other sites where Israeli soldiers fell in the battle for Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.
President Yitzhak Navon attended a military ceremony on Mr. Herzl. In the Mr. Scopus amphitheater, Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir told a gathering of new immigrants that the world has not yet accepted the idea that the Jewish people have returned to Jerusalem for good.
Most of the festivities were held in downtown Jerusalem where students from the Bezalel Art School decorated Ben Yehuda St. That main thoroughfare, converted into a pedestrian mall for the day, was the scene of folk dances and staged “happenings.” Crowds watched as about 100 runners competed in the traditional race around the Old City walls. Thousands of children marched across the city. All museums were open to the public without admission charge.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.