FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORTHODOX UNION RECEIVES LETTER FROM PRIME MINISTER OLMERT’S OFFICE RE: FATE OF JERUSALEM – “JERUSALEM…NOT UNDER NEGOTIATION WITH THE PALESTINIANS”; OU RESPONSE TO OLMERT: “BE MORE EXPLICIT”
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – received a letter from the Office of Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert with regard to the fate of Jerusalem in the context of current U.S. facilitated negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The letter to the “Orthodox Union” was in response to a letter sent last month by the Orthodox Union to the Prime Minister (accessible here) in which the Orthodox Union insisted that the Prime Minister not cede portions of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.
The letter comes one day after, in a public speech, Prime Minister Olmert raised questions about Israel’s control of Palestinian neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.
In the response letter to the Orthodox Union leadership, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that “the issue of Jerusalem is currently not under negotiations with the Palestinians.” The letter went on to state “that in any future settlement, the Prime Minister will strengthen the Jewish character of Jerusalem, enhance its Jewish majority and keep Jerusalem as the eternal, united and internationally recognized capital of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.”
In response to this letter, Orthodox Union, through its president Stephen Savitsky, stated:
We thank the Prime Minister’s Office for responding to the Orthodox Union’s letter expressing our concerns over the fate of Jerusalem and we appreciate that the Prime Minister recognizes the significance of Jerusalem in the history and destiny of the Jewish People.
However, in light of the Prime Minister’s public statements yesterday and in light of the unparalleled significance to all Jews of the fate of the holy city, we must ask Prime Minister Olmert to be more explicit about his intentions and commitment to keep Jerusalem as the “eternal and united capital of the Jewish People.” ###