In his meeting with US President George W. Bush on Thursday, Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu adamantly declared that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people alone and will remain Israel's undivided capital for eternity.
As evidence of the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem, Netanyahu presented Bush with a coin found by archeologists in Jerusalem dating from the great Judean revolt against the Roman Empire, more than 600 years before Islam and the Arab conquest.
Netanyahu went on to outline for Bush his vision of economic progress in the Middle East as a basis for eventual peace that would not require Israel surrendering its security and historic claims.
The former prime minister urged Bush, who was joined by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to accept the reality that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is not a viable peace partner due to his inability to actually implement any security-based commitments to Israel.
Netanyahu noted that over the past decade, Israel has relinquished direct control of much of its biblical lands as part of the peace process, while the Palestinians have done anything but put an end to anti-Israel terrorism.