Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Says Splitting City With PA ‘Will Never Work’
Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat said on Tuesday in an interview with the Associated Press, that the city must remain united, despite calls by the Palestinian Authority to split the city in a peace agreement with Israel.
The peace talks, the sixth meeting of which took place today, began in August and are expected to take nine months, and will eventually broach the PA’s demand that East Jerusalem be their future national capital.
“It will never function, it will never work. It is a bad deal,” Barkat, a former high-tech entrepreneur, and the wealthiest politician in Israel, told the AP. “Doing a bad deal is worse than no deal.”
“Jerusalem of 3,000 years ago was not divided into tribes. All people that came to worship … at the Temple felt that Jerusalem belonged to them as much as it belongs to everyone else and that feeling created a very special atmosphere of belonging,” Barkat said. “There is only one way this city can function — it is a united city that all residents and visitors are treated honestly and equally. It is the only model.”
Barkat was elected in 2008 and is seeking re-election for a second five-year term in October.