Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, stated on Wednesday evening that Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of Israel. The statements of Sharon came at a conference held by Or Yarok (Green Light) organization, which is dedicated for reducing traffic accident fatalities.
Sharon, after talking about efforts to combat traffic accidents, addressed the statements of his pollster, Kalman Gayer, who said in an interview with the Newsweek that Sharon is willing to compromise Jerusalem in a future peace agreement with the Palestinians, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
The statements of Gayer were broadcasted by the Israeli TV channel one on Tuesday at night, and caused a political storm in Israel, especially after Sharon’s right-wing opponents used it “to prove that this is the true intention of Sharon”.
“Currently, there are limits for incitement and insult, the highest level of silliness happened yesterday, when slogans coming from every direction claimed that I intend to divide Jerusalem”, Sharon stated, “This is nonsense, and baseless, and those who use this for political gains are well aware of that”.
Sharon was referring to political opponents, especially Benjamin Netanyahu, the frontrunner of the Likud leadership race, who said that “the cat is out of the bag”.
Netanyahu also said that the aides of Sharon are revealing what he is trying to hide, “everybody knows today that Sharon will divide Jerusalem, and bring the Palestinians back to the 1967 borders”.
Also, Likud member of Knesset, Gideon Sa’ar, and Israeli Minister of Education, Limor Livnat, said that the voters should believe those “who speak in English rather than the denials in Hebrew”.
“This is another proof that Kadima (Sharon’s new party) is the path of the left and withdrawal”, Livnat added.
Zevulun Orlev, head of the National Religious Party said that Kalman Gayer says aloud what Sharon says behind closed doors.
Sharon released a statement on Tuesday night regarding this issue and said that the “The remarks attributed to Kalman Gayer are in total contradiction to my positions and opinions”, adding that if these remarks were really made, then they “were made strictly on Mr. Gayer’s initiative, and they are senseless and absurd”.
Tension between Gayar and Sharon was clearly noticed after member of Knesset Tzachi Hanegbi quitted the Likud and joined Kadima last week. Gayar tried to prevent Hanegbi from leaving the Likud but failed to do so.
Meanwhile, Kadima member of Knesset, Haim Ramon, former labor MK, said that there is no need for Israel to rule East Jerusalem, and control Arab neighborhoods there.
“It is a mistake to keep some Arab part of Jerusalem as inseparable part of Jerusalem”, Ramon said, “Keeping large Arab neighborhoods as part of Jerusalem, means that the capital will no longer be the Jewish, Zionist capital of Israel”.
Ramon gave Al Ram, an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem as an example.