Israel’s Ambassador In Washington, Michael Oren, stated that Israel will continue the construction and expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem, and added that the relation between Israel and the United States is strong. Oren stated that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and will always be its capital, and that Israel “has the right to build in the city.’
His statements came during an interview with CNN.
He said that Israel’s policies in Jerusalem are not only the policies of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, but are the policies of every Israeli Prime Minister, since the time Golda Maer was the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yitzhak Rabin, and every Israeli Prime Minister.
Oren further stated that laws applied in Jerusalem are the same laws applied in every part of Israel, and that the occupied city “enjoys the same laws and regulations applied in Tel Aviv”.
His statement ignore the simple fact that Arabs and Palestinians in Jerusalem are not granted construction permits and their homes are being demolished or stolen from them to be given to Jewish settlers.
Israel is using the same policy against the Arabs and Bedouins in the Negev as they are facing ongoing demolishing of their property while Israel is building Malls and Jewish settlements on the Negev and the Galilee.
The Israeli ambassador further stated that he believes Israel and the Palestinians should return to the negotiations table without preconditions, and that Israel’s policies in Jerusalem did not change and will not change.
Yet, he stated that he believes the chances for peace are now better that before, and that he believes peace is possible with the Palestinians and the Arab world.
He also said that the “biggest threat in the region is Iran and its nuclear agenda”.
Oren concluded by stating that the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is committed to peace, and that the Israeli government is capable of making “tough decisions”.