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October 28, 2014 9:47 am

Netanyahu Defends Jerusalem Construction Amid U.S., EU Criticism

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The sensitive issue of a united Jerusalem, a one-time untouchable was opened to negotiations by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.

JNS.org – In the face of criticism from the United States and European Union, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday defended his decision to advance 1,060 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa, which are both located beyond the pre-1967 lines.

“The French build in Paris, the English build in London, and the Israelis build in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said at the Knesset. “To come and tell Jews not to build in Jerusalem—why? Because it will heat up the atmosphere? To certain elements in the region, our very existence is what heats up the atmosphere.”

“There is broad agreement among the public that Israel has every right to build in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the settlement blocs,” he added. “Every Israeli government over the past 50 years has done so. It is also clear to the Palestinians that these places will remain in Israel in any future agreement.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “Israel’s leaders have said they would support a pathway to a two-state solution, but moving forward with this type of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace, and that is certainly a message that we are conveying directly.”

Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the construction decision “will call once again into serious question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians.”

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  • Cynthia

    Bibi is right, the Israelis have every right to build in Jerusalem, and i would contend that they have every right to build in the territories and Gaza too. If you know the history of this region, many of the countries that exist would not even be there without the Israeli people. Both generosity and agreements forged the region, but the nomads don’t like to play by the rules….so there you go. Build all around the temple mount too, take back the city that was built by the people of GOD.

  • Richard R Silverman

    I am elated. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu stated in no uncertain words why it is Israel’s right to build in Israel, in Jerusalem. I am sure he is speaking for millions of Israelis’ and he is the voice of those who survived the flames of Europe. Israel will grow and prevail because it must to survive. There is no other way.