Rivlin insists Jerusalem will never be divided despite EU plan

Rivlin insists Jerusalem

Knesset members from across the political spectrum condemned a plan by the European Union that was reported on Tuesday to unilaterally declare Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. The plan will reportedly be proposed at a monthly meeting of EU ministers next week in Brussels by Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. "Jerusalem must never be divided, because it would only enhance the conflict and not solve it," said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, whose family has lived in the capital for a century. "Dividing the capital would create a volcanic eruption that would not be easy to stop. Splitting sovereignty would bring about complete chaos," he said, adding that Israel had proven that adherents of Judaism, Islam and Christianity could live together in Jerusalem. Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely blamed the Swedish proposal on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to freeze West Bank construction. "This is further proof that the erosion in the legitimacy of settlements in Judea and Samaria directly erodes our hold over Jerusalem," Hotovely said. National Union MK Uri Ariel said the proper Zionist response to such a European plan should be to announce mass building projects for Jews in the eastern part of Jerusalem. MK Yohanan Plesner of Kadima, who heads the Israel-Sweden Friendship League, blamed the Swedish plan on Netanyahu. "This shows that Israel's image has been harmed in a worrisome way," Plesner said. "This is the result of the government's foot-dragging. Instead of leading diplomatic processes as Israel did in the past, the government has had to respond to the plans of others and pay a heavy diplomatic price," he said.