Daily Israel Report

Likud MK: Why are We Apologizing?

Likud MK Yariv Levin doesn't understand why PM Netanyahu apologized to the US over construction in Jerusalem.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/12/2010, 12:52 PM / Last Update: 3/13/2010, 10:02 PM

MK Yariv Levin (Likud) spoke to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew news service on Thursday and expressed confusion over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's apology regarding construction in Jerusalem. “We have the absolute right to build anywhere in the land of Israel and especially in Jerusalem, there doesn't need to be any policy of apologizing,” he said.

Netanyahu apologized to United States Vice President Joe Biden over the approval of a construction project in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem. Biden had condemned the project, saying it could undermine talks with the Palestinian Authority, which claims the land on which Ramat Shlomo is built as Arab territory.

Foreign attempts to dictate Israeli policy in Jerusalem are “blatant interference,” Levin said. “This is an internal matter, not an international matter,” he explained.

"How can it be that we need permission from the Americans every time we want to build a neighborhood or a house in Jerusalem?” Levin said. The American condemnation of Israeli plans to build in Jerusalem exposed the real problem, the problem of Israel's willingness to accept foreign meddling in domestic affairs, he stated.

"The time has come for us to stand up for ourselves. I have no doubt that if we do so, the world will see us differently,” he said.

America's attempt to interfere in Jewish housing projects in Jerusalem is the result of the building freeze in Judea and Samaria, said Levin. “We warned [Netanyahu] that it was a slippery slope, and that the building freeze would lead to interference in construction in Jerusalem, and that's what happened,” he said.

To correct the problem “we need to resume construction in Judea and Samaria immediately, and stop allowing interference in our internal affairs,” he said, adding, “We need to emphasize the unity of Jerusalem.”