(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Problems over Jerusalem will not be solved by dividing it, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday at a special Knesset session to mark Jerusalem Day.
RELATED:New ACRI report issued for Jerusalem Day criticizes policeMy Jerusalem DayCITY Bites: Toasting the town
At the opening of the session, Rivlin said "There are those who feel like in the race for progress in the renewal of 'Hebrewness' and 'Israeliness' [problems over Jerusalem] hold them back. There are those who try to paint Jerusalem as a city of the past, without a future, as a city of minorities, of Haredim and Arabs, a city without Israelis, so to speak."
"The blackening of Jerusalem's face and efforts to make it irrelevant are designed to lead to its division, but we will not be innocent or play dumb - we will not solve problems over Jerusalem by dividing it," Rivilin declared.
Rivlin also criticized the government's neglect of east Jerusalem, saying "We promised a united Jerusalem, but we did not fulfill this promise."
"We built the City of David, we established Maaleh Hazeitim, we
discovered ancients ruins from destruction, but what have we done for
Ras al-Amud?" he asked. "What did we do for the children living in east
Jerusalem who have no educational framework to absorb them? What have we
done for the postal services in east Jerusalem which barely function,
and for the hundreds of streets there which do not have their garbage
Rivlin continued, "We passed refugee camps within Jerusalem and we
ignored them. We did not include them in profits we made from the city's
"Is this how a sovereign state behaves?" he asked. "Is this how a united
city acts? Is this how we plan to promise that Jerusalem will never be