City of David 1996
Decision of the Government of the State of Israel
The year 1996 (5756-57) has been declared the "Trimillennium of Jerusalem, the City of David," with the city of Jerusalem and the figure of King David at the center of the planned events.
The Bible devotes more time to David than to any other king. Generations of believers as well as artists have been inspired by David's legendary personality and his many faceted persona as statesman, warrior, legislator, poet and musician.
The events will establish Jerusalem's place as the heart of the Jewish nation in the collective consciousness of Israel and the world, they will enhance its status and image as the capital of Israel, and they will contribute to economic development, tourism, infrastructure, and the cultural and social lives of the city's residents.
Ever since King David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, the city has become the center of Jewish existence and the heart of the Jewish people, the focus of its faith and historical memory. Since most researchers, experts and archaeologists estimate that the conquest took place in year 1004 BC, the year 1996 AD was set, therefore, as Jerusalem's 3000th anniversary as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel.
Jerusalem is the tangible historical testimony of the Jewish religion and its heritage on the one hand, and the independence and sovereignty of the Jewish people on the other. This identification of Jerusalem as both a spiritual and national symbol emphasizes the unique and eternal tie between the city and the Jewish people, a tie which has no parallel in the history of nations.
No other nation has ever made Jerusalem its capital in such an absolute and binding fashion. The Temple was built in Jerusalem, and to it the religious made their pilgrimages thrice annually; chapters of the Bible were written within its walls, and there the prophets preached their prophesies.
Christianity and Islam, too, hold Jerusalem sacred, and the many holy sites of all three faiths make the city a world spiritual and religious center. Israel's capital is also a cosmopolitan city with the rich and varied mosaic of different races, peoples, religions and sects, which have lived together for many generations.
Israeli rule over the united city has brought unprecedented prosperity and progress, and despite the tensions between the various communities within it the city has not enjoyed such a position of import since its heyday as a kingdom.
The 3000 years celebrations will highlight the figure of King David. David's legendary multi-faceted personality as statesman, fighter, legislator, lover, poet and musician - whom the Bible discussed more than any other king - has been an inspiration to a wealth of artistic creations. Some of this artistic diversity will find expression in these celebrations.
King David holds a fundamental position in the collective consciousness of the Jewish people and is also an important figure in Christian culture. By making him the centerpiece and focus of the festivities, in a visual display that will appeal to millions all over the world, the celebrations will excite the imagination and add a special flavor to the events.
Statement of Purpose
To place Jerusalem at the focus of attention both in Israel and the world, and to strengthen its status and image as both the spiritual and national capital of Israel and the Jewish people.
To present Jerusalem as a universal religious, spiritual and cultural center with room for all religions, peoples and traditions. A varied and tolerant city in which all enjoy freedom of worship and creation.
To strengthen the economy of the capital by bringing guests and pilgrims from Israel and abroad, which will provide a massive boost to tourism. In addition, the city will not only enjoy the celebrations, there will also be varied cultural and social activities for the benefit of its citizens as well as for the benefit of the city's existing cultural and educational institutions.
To encourage all organizations and institutions currently active in the city to participate in the various planned projects, in such a way as to strengthen and expand their activity, and secure their future status as well.
To speed up the development and construction processes of various projects and initiatives for the benefit of the city's residents.
To instill youths in Israel and the Diaspora with educational values relating to Jerusalem and its place in Jewish existence.