Well, I will make this quick. I used to observe Jerusalem Day. I said to myself, "Whatever you think about the politics, at least you can admit that it's nice you can go to the Kotel. Isn't that worth being thankful for?"
Sure, I'm thankful that I can go to the Old City and to the holy places. But that gratitude doesn't trump my negative feelings about what has happened to Jerusalem since 1967.
Let us start with the annexation of Jerusalem, which nobody in the world recognizes. Let us then talk about the eviction of Palestinians from their homes to facilitate real-estate deals in the Jewish Quarter (which is legally segregated), an artificial construction that mirrors in a sense what Israelis have done to every place to which they returned: mulitiplied the area and call it by the same name. (Gush Etziyon and Jerusalem are good examples). Then let us talk about the years of neglect in housing and services for East Jerusalem. And of course, the Judaization of the city by encircling it with Jewish neighborhoods and Jews coming into the heart of Arab neighborhoods
And in Jewish Jerusalem, what do we have? The elimination of green spaces, the uglification of the city, the failure to preserve historical buildings, the crowded neighborhoods,, the adding of several floors to existing buildings, the poor municipal services,the absentee owners, the flight from the city, the poverty, the extremism, the neighborhood ghettoes. All this has gotten worse, not better, since 1967. Been downtown lately? Enough said.
When Zion is redeemed through justice, and when the word of the Lord goes forth from Jerusalem, then I will change my views.
Until then, three things keep me here: good food, good weather, and family/friends. Oh, and the National Library. Who can ask for anything more?