'Today Everyone Knows: Bibi is Dividing J'lem'

Councilman tasked with security portfolio slams government for abandoning capital, warns PM's new walls reveal his hand.

Hezki Baruch ,

Jerusalem divided? Wall near Armon Hanatziv
Jerusalem divided? Wall near Armon Hanatziv
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King, who holds the security portfolio at the municipality, sharply condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for placing a security wall Sunday in the southeastern Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, saying Netanyahu is in effect dividing the capital.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Monday, the councilman, who lives in the eastern neighborhood of Ma'ale Hazeitim on the Mount of Olives, warned "Neatnyahu has passed Moshe Dayan on the left," in reference to the former military leader who left Hevron in Arab hands, among other questionable moves.

"Netanyahu is proving what I have said for the last four or five years, that there hasn't been a prime minister more dangerous for Jerusalem than Binyamin Netanyahu," stressed King. The new wall in Jerusalem divides between Jewish and Arab majority neighborhoods.

"The one who gave away Hevron, the one who gave away Abu Dis (to the east of Jerusalem - ed.), the one who gave away Gush Katif and northern Samaria and froze Jerusalem, he today is in practice giving away more neighborhoods to the Arab enemy located to our east," he warned.

King expressed his shock that the Jewish Home party, which is a leading member of Netanyahu's coalition government, has not spoken out against the moves.

"I ask, where are you Naftali Bennett? Where are you, Ayelet Shaked? Uri Ariel? You're the 'right' and you're silent? On an awful day in which walls are placed in Jerusalem. I'm embarrassed of you, if you don't open your mouths as soon as possible and even leave the government."

Explaining how the capital has lost its security, the councilman said, "the current prime minister forbids Jerusalem police, the Jerusalem municipality and tax authorities from entering ten neighborhoods in Jerusalem."

"He allows the Palestinian Authority to build schools, pave roads, provide water, and it's all happening in neighborhoods ofJerusalem," detailed King. "I've been shouting and shouting, and unfortunately former Jerusalem Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, and the current minister Ze'ev Elkin, haven't done a thing."

While Netanyahu warned in elections that the left would divide Jerusalem, King says that Netanyahu "has been dividing Jerusalem for five years, and today we see it even more tangibly because it's on the porches of Armon Hanatziv."

What to do?

Before enumerating his own plan as to what must be done to return security to the capital, King listed how the government has failed in performing its duties for the city.

"For four years there's no entry allowed to Jews to ten neighborhoods in Jerusalem. And all the politicians from the Likud and to the right of it - if there is such a thing - don't say a thing or do anything."

"Today it's clear to everyone - I shouted and shouted and wrote, everyone said I was hallucinating, that it's not true - but today they see it before their very eyes," he said, emphasizing the significance of the wall dividing neighborhoods in the capital.

In a calling for action, King said, "it's time to hear Jewish Home, if it considers itself a right-wing party, level an ultimatum to the prime minister: either you dismantle the walls or we leave the government."

As for what to do with the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and whether Israel should even deal with them, King pointed out that there are numerous Arab cities in Israel, and the state must not relinquish sovereignty.

"Arabs are in every place, Jews need to be in every place. The fact that the current government prevents Jews from building, as did the previous government, and therefore there are no Jews in those neighborhoods - that isn't supposed to give legitimacy to handing them over to the enemy."

Detailing his plan for the capital, King said, "we need to bring in police officers, tax authorities, the Jerusalem municipality into every neighborhood, every street to clear out the drugs and weapons, building violations, business licensing; every law in the state of Israel must be enforced."

"The moment we clean each and every neighborhood, believe me, eastern Jerusalem will be as secure as western Jerusalem, and it's still possible."

"We warned: someone will be murdered"

Speaking about his role in the municipality, where he holds the emergency and security portfolios, King told Arutz Sheva that the government has abandoned his requests for help in the city.

"The last month has been very sad. As the holder of those portfolios I warn, and warn and warn, and unfortunately the government of Israel covers its ears. The writing was on the wall, it was clear someone would be killed, it was just a matter of time."

"Three days before my friend Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Rabbi Aharon Bennett were murdered on Hagai Street (in the Old City), we marched at the same site where they were later murdered, us members of the city management...we warned someone will be killed here, someone will be murdered here," he recalled.

"And unfortunately it happened here, because they didn't listen to us."

King stated that "as the one who holds the security portfolio, I admit that the municipality as the executive arm of the government failed. I don't place blame on it, because I demanded that they give us means and tools; unfortunately they didn't give them to us, and we're suffering for it."

"Now it's not just in eastern Jerusalem, it's in all of Jerusalem and throughout the country."

When asked if the terror wave is dying down or if it is gaining strength, King said, "record what I'm saying and save it."

"If Netanyahu's outline continues," he warned, "I expect that by the next (Islamic) month of Ramadan at the latest, which is in another seven months - gunfire on Pisgat Ze'ev, French Hill, Armon Hanatziv and Har Homa, from the neighborhoods that Bibi (Netanyahu) forbids the authorities from entering."

"I say to residents of eastern Jerusalem and the 'seamline' neighborhoods, your lives are in danger if Binyamin Netanyahu continues his policy."