Washington – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today spoke on the Senate floor, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War.
Sen. Cruz also reiterated his steadfast support for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.
Watch Sen. Cruz’s floor speech in its entirety below:
The full text of his remarks is below:
“I rise to mark a truly significant and momentous day. Starting this evening, millions around the world will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, also known as Jerusalem Day.
“I am proud to join our close ally Israel and the Jewish people in celebrating this historic, 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
“Half a century ago, overcoming Arab armies intent on Israel’s destruction, the Israel Defense Forces liberated the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. They courageously and miraculously fought their way to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the holiest sites in Judaism.
“The commander of the paratroopers, Mordechai Gur — unable to contain his emotion — exclaimed through his wireless radio: ‘the Temple Mount is in our hands!’ The army rabbi blew the shofar and the eternal capital of Israel was reunited.
“This war was not the first time that Israel was threatened with annihilation. After the Jewish people established the modern State of Israel in their ancient homeland just 19 years earlier, neighboring Arab states responded to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s declaration of independence with an invasion. The Arab armies failed to destroy the newly established Jewish State, but Jerusalem, the ancient and holy city central to the identity of the Jewish people, was left divided and occupied by Jordan.
“Residents of the Old City were murdered or expelled. Jews were prohibited from visiting and praying at the Temple Mount and Western Wall, their synagogues were destroyed and their cemeteries — such as the Mount of Olives — were desecrated. Access for Christians to their holy sites were also severely restricted.
“Leading up to June 1967, Arab leaders repeatedly and openly expressed their desire to wipe Israel off the map. Syria was engaging in attacks on Israel from the Golan Heights and soon started to mobilize its forces for battle. Egypt began moving troops into the Sinai Peninsula in a massive military build-up, demanded and achieved the withdrawal of the UN Emergency Force that had been stationed in the Sinai, and then closed the Straits of Tiran — imposing an illegal blockade on Israel and cutting off a vital shipping lane for the Jewish State. Jordan then signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt.
“Outnumbered, outgunned, and against all odds, in the face of external pressure not to act first to ensure its survival, the Jewish State launched a successful, preemptive strike against its hostile neighbors and prevailed in a defensive war. When it was over, Jerusalem was liberated — reuniting the city and Judaism’s holiest sites with the Jewish people, and putting an end to almost two decades of exclusion from the Old City.
“Mr. President – since coming under its sovereignty, Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East that shares our values of freedom, has protected people of all faiths in Jerusalem and ensured their access to holy sites so that they may worship freely. They have protected the rights of Jews, of Christians and of Muslims.
This has occurred even while religious minorities are being targeted, persecuted and attacked throughout the Middle East, and religious and historical sites are being demolished today by radical Islamic terrorists.
“Today is a day where we must also reassert historical truth: The historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the land of Israel did not begin in 1967.
These profound ties to Jerusalem have existed for thousands of years. They can be traced back and have been reaffirmed through numerous archaeological excavations such as those in the City of David.
“In the past several years I have traveled to Israel three times. There is something that stirs inside each time I am there. It is remarkable to observe the great success and achievements of a small, yet mighty country that is one of America’s strongest allies in the world.
“It is long past time that America do something it should have done two decades ago: move the American embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.
“There is no reason Israel should be treated any worse when they are such a reliable and unshakeable ally. We should honor the promise that Democratic presidents and Republican presidents have made for decades and move our embassy to Jerusalem.
“And so I stand today to express my solidarity with Israel and with the Jewish people during this major celebration. Now, more than ever, America stands strong with our unshakeable friend and ally the nation of Israel.”