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Monday, November 26, 2007

Olmert asserts Israeli right to self-determination on Jerusalem

"No representation without taxation could be Ehud Olmert's motto. He may have been justified in his anger that Jews in the United States are adamantly opposing division of Jerusalem. But he may not have been wise to be quite as outspoken about the issue as he was.
Nonetheless, it was disconcerting to see the U.S. "experts" insist that Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni is "insane" and that division of Jerusalem is equivalent to the Holocaust.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 23:54 26/11/2007    
 Olmert: Israel, not U.S. Jews, will decide the future of Jerusalem
 By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday unequivocally rejected assertions by U.S. Jewish sources of the right of Jews worldwide, and not just Israel, to determine Jerusalem's future.
The sources, including leaders of Jewish groups who have formed a new umbrella organization on the issue of Jerusalem, have said the question of dividing capital is not just an "Israeli" one, but a "Jewish" one as well.
Olmert told reporters that this issue had "been settled long ago," and that "Israel is sovereign to decide on subjects relating to Israel." He also stated that at this stage the question of Jerusalem's future is only a theoretical one, and that the issue is still not part of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
A number of Jewish American sources have united in an attempt to present a hard line on the subject in the run up to the Annapolis Middle East peace conference, and in response to rumors about future compromises on the city.
Many of these figures and groups are from the Orthodox Jewish community in the U.S.
One such organization founded to pursue this goal is the Coordination Council on Jerusalem, which is identified with Jewish-Republican circles. The umbrella group for the Orthodox community, the Orthodox Union, has also created a website to enlist people in "defending Jerusalem against division."
Following Israel's 2005 pullout from the Gaza Strip, the Orthodox Union decided in principle to break with its tradition of non-interference in controversial political issues in Israel. It announced that it will no longer hesitate before declaring positions opposing those of Israeli governments, when they find the need to do so.
The Orthodox Union released a statement in response to Olmert's remarks Monday, announcing that its activities on Jerusalem are not intended to "dictate" to Israel, but to express the determined position that every Jew in the world has a stake in "the holy city of Jerusalem," and that its division is a step that the Israeli government does not need to agree to [that's all Ha'aretz wrote - it is not a dangling preposition, as there was no period.]

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