Special cabinet meeting in The Israel Museum.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem will not return to be a “divided and torn” city with barbed wire and snipers on its walls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Tuesday.
Netanyahu spoke at a special cabinet meeting held at the Israel Museum to commemorate both Jerusalem Day, which was marked on Sunday, and the 50th anniversary of the Israel Museum.
His words echoed comments he made on Sunday about Jerusalem remaining the capital of Israel exclusively, comments that were lambasted by Palestinian officials, who said this indicated he is not interested in peace.
Regarding the museum, Netanyahu said that while Israel promotes cultural freedom, creation and prosperity, in the region “fanatical Islamists” are killing people and destroying cultural treasures and freedoms.
Through its collection and exhibits, the Israel Museum displays the Jewish people’s strong connection to the Land of Israel, the contribution of Diaspora communities to humanity, and the wonders of human culture, he said.
“We promote culture at home and defend ourselves and – in my opinion – humanity as a whole from outside threats,” he said.
The cabinet passed a number of resolutions designed to economically strengthen the capital and prepare for the jubilee of Jerusalem’s reunification in two years.
In addition, the cabinet decided to transfer government responsibility for Jerusalem affairs from the Diaspora Affairs Ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office. It also approved the following deputy ministerial appointments: Ya’acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), deputy health minister; Meir Porush (UTJ), deputy education minister; Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) deputy foreign minister; Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) deputy finance minister; Meshulam Nahari (Shas), deputy welfare and social services minister; Ayoub Kara (Likud), deputy regional cooperation minister; and Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) as deputy defense minister.
The cabinet also decided to authorize the communications minister, who is Netanyahu, to be responsible for implementing the Israel Broadcasting Authority Law; and to transfer responsibility for the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, headed by Bayit Yehudi’s Uri Ariel.