MembersThe Americans Decide in Jerusalem

Each time Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama get together building projects in Jerusalem have to be temporarily frozen.

By Israel Today Staff |
Construction of new buildings in the ultra orthodox Jewish town of Telz-Stone, outside of Jerusalem Photo: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Before Netanyahu flew to New York in September to speak at the UN General Assembly and to meet with Obama for probably the last time he called Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Netanyahu asked him to suspend all permits for building projects planned in the eastern part of the city. Netanyahu hoped to avoid the possibility of American criticism during his visit.

 

That has given rise to the perception that the Americans, rather than the Israeli government, are determining policy in Jerusalem. “The Jerusalem City Council is effectively relinquishing its sovereignty in Israel’s capital,” emphasized Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovitz, who belongs to the religious settler party Jewish Home. “Whenever Netanyahu meets with American or European heads of state all the building projects in the eastern part of Jerusalem are put on hold until he returns. Maybe the US State Department should head the Jerusalem Municipality’s Building Committee; after all, in Jerusalem, America is sovereign, not us.”

 

The Jerusalem Municipality officially rejected Netanyahu’s request...

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