Netanyahu to Team Obama: No, We’re Not Sharing Jerusalem
This won’t go over well with the Obama Administration.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that Israel would not Jerusalem with the Palestinians despite what Defense Minister Ehud Barak spouted off earlier to the press.
The Politico reported, via Weasel Zippers:
Israel’s leader dismissed Sunday a top ally’s call to share the holy city of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, another reminder of the challenges the U.S. faces as it shifts gears on its troubled Mideast peacemaking strategy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaffirmation of his intention to hold on to east Jerusalem was liable to escalate friction between the two sides and with the Americans. The White House Mideast envoy is scheduled to arrive this week in another attempt to push peace efforts forward.
The conflicting claims to East Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dispute over the area, home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites, has derailed past peace talks and spilled into violence.
Addressing the same gathering, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the holy city will have to be shared as part of a future peace deal.
An Israeli official told The Associated Press that Barak was expressing a personal opinion, not the government’s position.
“Those remarks were not coordinated with the prime minister,” the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because Netanyahu has not responded publicly to Barak’s remarks or to Clinton’s speech.
Clinton and Barak spoke a few days after the U.S. abandoned efforts to coax Israel into another temporary freeze on new construction in West Bank Jewish settlements.