Palestinian Authority’s senior negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed dissatisfaction with Australia’s recognition of ‘west’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, insisting, “All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory.”
By Ryan Jones
Australia’s decision on Saturday to officially recognize the western half of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel prompted a number of outbursts, some of them very, very revealing.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed disappointment that, unlike US President Donald Trump, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison only acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over half of the Holy City, and did not commit to moving his nation’s embassy there.
PLO chief Saeb Erekat pressed on current police-state gov’t, corruption, lack of basic rights & terrorism in the PA
The Palestinian Authority also protested Australia’s announcement, and that raised not a few eyebrows in Israel.
Many assumed that the Palestinians would celebrate Australia recognizing only West Jerusalem as Israel’s seat of government as yet another repudiation of the Jews’ claim to the entire city as their eternal capital.
But then Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat explained the outrage, and Israelis were again reminded of just how distant a genuine peace based on historical accuracy remains.
“All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” insisted Erekat.
That came as a surprise to nearly all Israelis, including those to the far left of the political spectrum, who have never considered control of the western half of Jerusalem to be up for negotiation.
Did Erekat merely misspeak, or did he reveal that even at the highest levels of the supposedly “moderate” Palestinian government, the long-term goal remains wresting all this land from Israel?
At the very least, Erekat’s statement should make it clear to the international community that there won’t be any kind of peace agreement in the near future, as no Israeli government, regardless of which party is in charge, will ever consider, or be allowed by the public to put West Jerusalem on the table.
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