(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem mayoral hopeful Ze’ev Elkin took on the handlers of Prince William’s upcoming trip to Israel on Monday for characterizing the prince’s visit in east Jerusalem as a visit to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
“United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel for over 3,000 years,” Elkin – who is the Jerusalem Affairs Minister – said in a Facebook post. “No distortion in the preparatory pages of this or that visit will change the reality.”
Elkin was responding to the itinerary of the trip released by Kensington Palace last week, which said that on June 28, William’s program “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will begin with a short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives.”
While neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor the foreign Ministry issued any public objection to the text – with both acknowledging that Britain’s policy has long been to characterize east Jerusalem as “Occupied Palestinian territory”– Elkin took umbrage.
“I expect that the prince’s people, who have emphasized throughout that the visit will be a-political without leaning one way or the other, will correct this distortion,” he wrote.
William is scheduled to arrive on June 25 for three days on the first ever official visit by a member of the Royal family. He is expected during his visit to visit the Western Wall, although this has not yet been announced.
William’s short briefing on “the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City” is expected to be given by an employee at the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem, as a way to avoid having to decide whether the explanation of the Old City will be given by an Israeli or Palestinian guide or scholar.