Rivlin ‘positive’ PM won’t divide Jerusalem

Knesset speaker tells ‘Post’ Netanyahu might agree to autonomy at Muslim holy sites, but not sovereignty; won't give in to US pressure.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, REBECCA ANNA STOIL
October 7, 2010 01:16
3 minute read.
rivlin 298.170

rivlin 298.170. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not give in to requests for concessions in Jerusalem from US President Barack Obama and Palestinian leaders, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin declared firmly in an interview with The Jerusalem Post in his office on Wednesday.

Rivlin, a proud Jerusalemite whose family has lived in the capital for more than a century, acknowledged that Netanyahu would be under significant pressure in the months ahead, but said he was convinced that the prime minister would be able to say no to the American administration at the moment of truth.

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The Knesset speaker would prefer to continue the current situation in which Jews and Arabs live together to the creation of a Palestinian state. He dismissed the demographic arguments the Kadima Party uses to push for territorial compromises and Israel Beiteinu uses to advocate keeping pre-1967 Israeli-Arab towns out of Israel’s final borders.

“Separation, to me, means accepting a permanent state of war,” Rivlin said. “Instituting an artificial solution won’t bring peace.

“If you ask me what is preferable – dividing the land or living together while dealing with a demographic threat, I think dividing the land is worse.

“If we are destined to live together, we can,” Rivlin said. “But don’t threaten me with a demographic threat, because if that’s what matters, David Ben- Gurion would never have declared a state.”

A one-state solution, Rivlin added, was “the lesser of all evils” for “people who are destined, not doomed, to live together.”


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