JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday urged Israeli leaders to relinquish the idea of a unified Jerusalem if they truly want peace, contending in a pair of interviews that years of government neglect have kept the Jewish and Arab sectors irreparably divided.I thought the Religion of Peace did!
The comments, made as Israel marked the 45th anniversary of capturing east Jerusalem, were nearly unprecedented for a mainstream Israeli leader and put Olmert at odds with his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu. Celebrating Israel's control of the city on the Jewish state's "Jerusalem Day," Netanyahu declared his government was committed to keeping it the country's undivided capital.And look how the AP is intent on making it sound as though Israel poached. No, they did not "capture", they liberated and freed the east end of the city from the grip of tyranny, oppression and hostility. And they brought some prosperity to it as well, something most of the Muslim population sure isn't bringing.
"No Israeli government since 1967 has done even a smidgen of what was needed in order to unify the city in practical terms. That is a tragedy that is going to lead us, for want of another choice, to making inevitable political concessions," Olmert told the Maariv daily.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and immediately annexed the area, home to sensitive Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites as well as a large Arab population. The Palestinians hope to make east Jerusalem the capital of an independent state including the neighboring West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Speaking Sunday evening from the site of a Jerusalem battle from that war, Netanyahu said the city will not be partitioned.Well gee whiz, if he'd only consider that it's the followers of Islam who refuse to integrate, and that it's their fault and they have to take responsibility for being so negative, maybe he'd understand the problem. In reality, Olmert is one of the people whom Netanyahu speaks of who take a role not unlike a 9-11 truther.
"Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart. And our heart will never be divided again," he said.
The future of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues at the core of the conflict. Jerusalem's old city is home a compound sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Jews revere it as the site of their two biblical Temples and Muslims regard it as Islam's third-holiest site.
"There are those who believe that if we only divide Jerusalem, and that means giving up the Temple Mount, they believe we will have peace," Netanyahu said. "I am doubtful, to say the least, that if we deposit that square of the Temple Mount with other forces, that we won't quickly deteriorate to a religious sectarian war."
"I know that only under Israeli control is accessibility and religious freedom is ensured, and will continue to be ensured to all the religions. Only under Israel will the quiet be preserved, only under Israel will the peace between the religions be ensured," Netanyahu said.
Olmert said the notion of a united Holy City is unrealistic. He pointed to a number of Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, saying they have not been integrated into the rest of the city.
"We can't unite them and connect them to the real fabric of life in Jerusalem, and except for grief, we haven't gotten anything from them," he said.
It's not the only lemon of a story to be found on Jerusalem Day. There's also something that Yediot Achronot ran by the AP that was already published weeks ago:
In honor of Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, Israeli news site Ynetnews made the curious editorial decision to carry a weeks-old Associated Press story about the Muslim connection to the city. The story left out many details suggesting that Muslim ties to the city were not as historically strong as the Palestinian Authority argues.Elder of Zion has more on this atrocity. It's just like Yediot Achronot and the AP to be so negative and hostile to a celebration day.
The article states that Muslims visited Jerusalem on the way to Mecca “for centuries,” but that the pilgrimage route was disrupted when Israel “captured” much of Jerusalem in the Six Day War. However, as historian Daniel Pipes has shown, historical sources have largely described Jerusalem in the centuries of Muslim rule as a backwater with few visitors, suggesting that pilgrimage to the city was not comparable to that to Mecca.
The writer also claims that the first Muslims “prayed toward Al-Aqsa and only later turned their prayers east to Mecca.” While Muhammad’s followers did initially face toward Jerusalem in prayer, the site known as Al-Aqsa was only constructed many decades later, after Muhammad had instructed them to face Mecca instead.