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Saturday April 24, 2010 10:18 AM (EST+7)
Analysis: Netanyahu abandons Jerusalem's 'Arab' neighborhoods

Read more: Jerusalem, settlements, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politics

RAMALLAH, April 24 (JMCC) - In a recent interview with Israel's Channel 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed that daylight does exist between his own position on settlements, and that of his right-wing coalition partners, writes commentator David Horovitz.

[T]here was one passage of the interview, nonetheless, that merits attention. In the course of his comments on Jerusalem, and his restating of his “red lines” against halting building, Netanyahu drew a distinction between the city’s post-1967 Jewish neighborhoods and its Arab neighborhoods, and he specified that the permanent fate of the Arab neighborhoods was indeed a subject for final-status discussion with the Palestinians – a position frequently espoused by Kadima and Labor, but not normally by the Likud.

“Why do I have to give in on Jerusalem?” he asked indignantly, referring to Jewish neighborhoods built over the Green Line such as French Hill. “Why? Where’s the logic in that?” But where Arab neighborhoods like Abu Dis and Shuafat, which lie within Israel’s self-declared sovereign city limits, were concerned, he said, “That’s a different question.” The question of the status of the Arab neighborhoods, he allowed, was “legitimate.”

“No one,” he elaborated, “wants to add a greater Arab populace to Jerusalem.” Still, he went on, there were some who worried that “if you get out of there,” Iran would fill the vacuum in one guise or another, as it had done in Lebanon and Gaza. “If we get out of [the Arab neighborhoods of east] Jerusalem, Iran might come in. That’s [a] legitimate [concern],” said Netanyahu.

Read the whole article at the Jerusalem Post...






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