(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
US President Barack Obama received a rude welcome on his newly opened personal Twitter account on Tuesday from a right-wing Israeli minister who made it clear the new government in Jerusalem has no plans to cease construction in disputed areas of the capital.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of the pro-settler Bayit Yehudi party wrote: “Welcome! Happy Jerusalem Day! in case u didn׳t hear PM Netanyahu: "Jerusalem won't be divided again, we build all over the city."
The United States has been angered by Israeli settlement activity beyond the 1967 Green Line, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected international demands for a halt to construction in east Jerusalem.
Ariel’s tweet elicited angry reactions from Israeli Twitter users, one of whom wrote: “You remind me of a pyromaniac who lights things on fire and then rushes to tell his friends so that they don’t miss the blaze.”
Israeli settlement activity has been blamed by international governments for undermining chances to reach a two-state settlement with the Palestinians.