Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Israel: ‘Construction In Yerushalayim Is Not Negotiable’.(IH).A day after Israel approved the construction of 1,500 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in the northern part of Yerushalayim beyond the Green Line, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) issued a message to his colleagues around the world insisting that Israel’s decision to build in Jerusalem was “not negotiable.”
“Israel refuses to accept the fact that mere weeks after rockets were fired from Gaza into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, there are still those who see Israel’s decision to hold on to strategic territory surrounding Jerusalem, and to build within its capital, as the biggest obstacle standing in the way of peace,” Rivlin wrote in a New Year’s message he sent to the heads of parliaments across Europe and around the world on Tuesday.
Rivlin added that “there is a sense that nations in Europe are more interested in establishing a Palestinian state than in ensuring the safety and existence of the Jewish state.”
“The Europeans are wrong to assume that Israel’s existence is guaranteed and a given,” he wrote.
The Knesset speaker also wrote that “many of the nations that supported the Palestinians’ unilateral initiative at the U.N. General Assembly [which on Nov. 29 granted the Palestinians nonmember observer status] are wrong to think that recognition of a Palestinian state will isolate Hamas. We thought that diplomatic initiatives, like the Oslo Accords and the disengagement from Gaza, would do that before, but we were proved wrong and we had to pay a dear price, which we paid with human lives.”
He also came out against the international condemnations of Israel’s plans to build new homes beyond the Green Line and in contested areas of Jerusalem, saying that “for many Israelis it was unbearable to hear Hamas leaders calling for war and for wiping out the Jewish state on one side, and the world condemning Israel for taking steps to protect its security and existence on the other side.”
“Israel will not relinquish control over strategic territories necessary to maintain its security, including the area known as E1, under any future diplomatic arrangement,” Rivlin added. “Jerusalem, including every one of its neighborhoods, will remain the capital of Israel, and the construction there is not negotiable.”Read the full story here.