US ambassador: Jews will just have to leave Jerusalem

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones suggested during a tour of overcrowded Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem on Monday that many Jews will just have to move out of the capital rather than expand into parts of the city claimed by the Palestinians.

Jones told said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that Washington is growing increasingly displeased with Jewish housing projects on the eastern side of Jerusalem, which are certain to hinder efforts to conclude a peace deal along the lines of US President George W. Bush's vision for the region.

The American envoy said he is well aware of the lack of Jewish housing in Jerusalem, but in a remark betraying a lack of understanding regarding Jewish historical and spiritual connection to the city Jones concluded that "sometimes people do have to move to a different location. They cannot always stay close to their families."

He insisted that more important than the Jews' restoration to their biblical capital and heartland is Israel's implementation of commitments made as part of the US-driven Road Map peace process, even if unreciprocated by the Palestinians.

Jones ended the interview by all but justifying the Palestinian Authority's ongoing failure to meet its primary obligations to curb anti-Israel violence and incitement by stating that "it is not easy for either side to move ahead when they see the provocative behavior of the other side."

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