'We need to see facts on the ground'

Jerusalem Councilman Aryeh King speaks about the approval of the United J'lem Law and its message. 'After talking, we need to see building.'

Chana Roberts ,

Aryeh King
Aryeh King
Hezki Baruch

Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King spoke about the "United Jerusalem Law," emphasizing the danger in giving Arab neighborhoods in the city to the Palestinian Authority.

The law, approved on Monday night, stipulates that a majority of 80 Knesset members will be required to change the status of Jerusalem or for any transfer of territories from the capital within the framework of a future diplomatic agreement. Previously a majority of only 61 MKs was required.

"Last night, thank G-d...there was a rejection of an idea, a change of the Jerusalem Law," King said.
"The Jerusalem Law is a foundation law of Israel's government, that was not allowing [anyone] to touch the borders of Jerusalem. Last night there were two requests to change this law, one by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. This idea was...to stress the idea of Jerusalem as a united Jewish city. And this passed, thank G-d and thanks to many Knesset members."

"There was another by the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Zeev Elkin (Likud), that in my opinion this idea was - or will, G-d forbid that it will pass - the plan of this idea I think is to weaken Jerusalem, to divide Jerusalem.

"It's the first time the government of Israel or a minister of Israel is talking about dividing Jerusalem, giving parts of Jerusalem to a new Arab municipality....to take out of Jerusalem neighborhoods that are Arab, and to make them a new municipality that is not Jerusalem anymore."

King's main issue with this is the precedent it sets.

"We all know that once we pass this decision, it will be very easy - another five years, ten years - to say, 'Oh, this is not Jerusalem, so let's give it to the Palestinian Authority,'" he explained. "It's the beginning of dividing the city, and I'm so happy that this idea was rejected."

Emphasizing that the vote's message needs to be a "message to ourselves," King said that "now, after talking, we need to see the facts on the ground, we need to see building."

"We need to see Jerusalem being connected to the east to Maaleh Adumim, to the north to Givat Ze'ev, to the south to Gush Etzion, and to see the greater Jerusalem being built as soon as possible," he concluded.