FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nathan J. Diament
March 6, 2009
ORTHODOX UNION DENOUNCES OLMERT’S CONTINUED CALLS FOR RE-DIVIDING JERUSALEM; “THE OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER’S VIEWS WERE REPUDIATED BY ISRAELI ELECTIONS”
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, issued a sharp response to statements made by outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saying “there will be no peace” between Israelis and Palestinians “if a significant part of Jerusalem is not the capital of a Palestinian state.” [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3682276,00.html]
Orthodox Union president, Steve Savitsky, and executive vice president, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, issued the following statement in reaction to Mr. Olmert’s statements:
As leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community and staunch supporters of the State of Israel, we denounce the latest statements of outgoing Prime Minister Olmert calling for the re-division of the holy city of Jerusalem.
Mr. Olmert’s views are fundamentally at odds with the role Jerusalem has played for millennia, and will continue to play for the future, as the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel and the Jewish people. Jerusalem is the city toward which all Jews turn in prayer each day and are mindful of at our most sacred moments.
The notion of re-dividing Jerusalem has, as indicated by surveys, been rejected by majorities of Israelis and American Jews. Moreover, recent elections in Israel of candidates for office, such as Prime Minister Designate Netanyahu and Mayor of Jerusalem Barkat, who ran on unequivocal platforms against the holy city’s re-division demonstrate the repudiation of Mr. Olmert’s views.
We commend Mr. Olmert for his service to the State of Israel. He should respect the wishes and views of Israel’s voters and supporters and desist from statements which undermine our democratically expressed positions on this critical matter.