Thursday, May 21, 2009

Netanyahu: Jerusalem Will Never Be Divided Again

Curt Here...

Today in a state ceremony to mark Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Jerusalem will never be divide again and will always remain the capital of Israel.

These words of course run highly contrary to the intense international pressure that Netanyahu has been receiving for a peace treaty with the Arab nations and two state solution with the Palestinians. The two state solution includes a divided Jerusalem with the Palestinians receiving East Jerusalem as their capital.

As I stated in my last blog entry a two state solution or at least progress towards one is a requirement of the ENP agreement that Israel made with the EU. With the leadership of Israel being very clear on their position, I think we can expect the international pressure on Israel to rapidly increase and with the mid term review of the ENP coming in June-July 2010 we may have the mechanism in place where the EU feels like they have the right to force Israel to accept a two state solution.

Already today, Egypt's FM stated that Israel should be forced to accept a two state solution. This is the first time I have heard this from an international leader and I would suspect that this will only increase.

With President Obama scheduled to unveil a new peace plan on June 4th, Israel will soon find themselves standing alone on their desire to keep Jerusalem united under an Israeli flag.

Hang on it is going to get interesting.

Stay Tuned



Netanyahu: Jerusalem will never be divided again

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday that all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty, in comments likely to spark consternation among Palestinians who hope to make the city the capital of a future state.

"United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided," Netanyahu said at a state ceremony to mark Jerusalem Day.

Netanyahu said he had made the same declaration during his recent visit to Washington, where he met with United States President Barack Obama over the peace process and Iran's nuclear program.

Jerusalem Day celebrates the conquest of the city during the 1967 Six Day War, before which Jordan controlled east Jerusalem, while Israel had the western section. Shortly after the war, Israel annexed east Jerusalem.

"Only under Israeli sovereignty will united Jerusalem ensure the freedom of religion and freedom of access for the three religions to the holy places," Netanyahu added.

The ceremony took place at Ammunition Hill in east Jerusalem, site of one of the bloodiest battles in the city in the 1967 war, situated now in a Jewish neighborhood.

Palestinians: Netanyahu's comments invite 'eternal' conflict

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said later Thursday that Netanyahu's position on Jerusalem was a setback to the goal of a two-state solution, which is strongly supported by the Obama administration.

"Mr. Netanyahu, by saying that, he's saying the state of conflict will be eternal," Erekat said.

In his speech, Netanyahu echoed remarks made by President Shimon Peres, who said earlier at the ceremony that, "Israel will never have another capital other than Jerusalem, and Jerusalem will never be the capital of another people."

Peres stressed that Jerusalem was and remained Israel's capital, and spoke of the days before the Six Day war when Jews had limited access to the Old City.

"When Jerusalem was in non-Jewish hands, the Jews weren't allowed to pray at the holy sites; but under Jewish control, it is open to all faiths, and all prayers," he said.

Egypt FM: Israel should be forced to accept two-state solution

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