Netanyahu slammed British Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that he was “horrified” by Israeli construction in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back at his British counterpart, David Cameron, a day after the UK leader stated in parliament that he was “horrified” by Israeli construction in the Israeli capital.
The British prime minister “forgot a few basic facts about Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said, explaining that “only Israeli sovereignty” can protect Jerusalem’s holy places from ruin by the Islamic State (ISIS) and Hamas.
“Only Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem ensures the rule of law for Arab residents and for all,” Netanyahu stated.
Cameron generated a diplomatic stir on Wednesday, responding to a question by MP Imran Hussein, who claimed that he had visited the home of a Palestinian woman in the Old City of Jerusalem and that she was one of many people being forced out by Israelis.
“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said.
“Yes, we are supporters of Israel but we do not support illegal settlement, we do not want to support what is happening in East Jerusalem, and it’s very important that this capital city is maintained the way it was in the past,” Cameron said.
Holy Sites Respected Only Under Israeli Rule
Indeed, before Israel liberated eastern Jerusalem, which was occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the 1967 Six Day War, when the Jewish State was under attack, Jerusalem was maintained quite differently.
As explained by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), “In direct contravention of the 1949 armistice agreements, Jordan did not permit Jews access to their holy sites or to the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
“Fifty-eight synagogues–some hundreds of years old–were destroyed, their contents looted and desecrated. Some Jewish religious sites were turned into chicken coops or animal stalls. The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps…
“Israeli Arabs, too, were denied access to the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but their Muslim sites in eastern Jerusalem were respected…
“While Christians, unlike Jews, were allowed access to their holy sites, they too were subject to restrictions under Jordanian law.”
Banning Jews from Certain Neighborhoods?
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also criticized Cameron’s statement on Thursday, saying, “By what construction in the east of the city is he horrified? By the newest and most advanced schools that we are building there? By the new roads that we are paving there? By the medical clinics and cultural centers we have established?”
Barkat took issue with the suggestion that Jews should be banned from residing in particular neighborhoods of the Israeli capital. “Would anyone contemplate that a resident of certain religion would be prohibited from living in one of London’s neighborhoods?” he asked.