For Immediate Release
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS CALLS UPON PRIME MINISTER OLMERT TO PUBLICLY CLARIFY STATUS OF NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE FATE OF JERUSALEM
Today, the leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – called upon Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to publicly clarify the current status of any negotiations over the fate of the city of Jerusalem between Israeli government and Palestinian Authority representatives.
The “OU” issued this call in the wake of statements reported in the press over the weekend indicating that there may be “secret negotiations” planning the re-division of Jerusalem as part of a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. These reports are at odds with recent statements made by Prime Minister Olmert indicating that Jerusalem would be the last of the core issues brought to the negotiating table.
As OU president Steve Savitsky, executive vice president Rabbi T.H. Weinreb and public policy director Nathan Diament prepare to travel to Israel for meetings with senior Israeli officials later this week, they issued the following statement:
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and of the Jewish People. As anyone can appreciate, this is too critical a matter to be left to secret talks and backroom deals.
For the sake of Israel’s democracy and for the sake of Jewish unity with Israel, we urge Mr. Olmert to clarify the status of any talks over Jerusalem immediately.
We appreciate Prime Minister Olmert’s openness to dialogue with us in the Diaspora about the fate of Jerusalem – in which we all have a share – and look forward to his response to our call and to all those who are devoted to Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish People.