Lapid: Jerusalem is not up for negotiation because the city will never be divided

10/5/13. Lapid: Jerusalem is not up for negotiation because the city will never be divided.

“The issue of Jerusalem is not on the table in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians because the city will never be divided, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Israel Radio on Tuesday.

Lapid stated that Jerusalem is the “founding ethos” of the State of Israel and cannot be divided under any circumstances.

“If the Palestinians want a state, then they must know that this has a price and they will not get everything they want,” Lapid said.

Lapid’s comments came in response to a Tuesday morning Israel Radio report that Jerusalem was one of the topics under discussion in ongoing peace talks with the Palestinians.

According to the report, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the Israeli negotiations team and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s representative, Yitzhak Molcho, argued amongst themselves during a meeting with Palestinian negotiators about the size of the area designated for the free movement of Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem.

The finance minister reiterated that he does believe in a two-state solution, adding that dividing the country will be “painful,” and will entail large evacuations that will “tear us to pieces.”

Lapid said that when the time comes for settlements to be evacuated as part of a peace deal, it is likely that general elections will be moved up, or at the least, a national referendum will be held.

The finance minister’s comments came as US Secretary of State John Kerry was set to land in Israel as part of his ongoing efforts to advance the peace process.”

11/5/13. Lapid: Jerusalem Not on the Table. Maayana Miskin,

“Earlier, Minister Gilad Erdan expressed a slightly different take on things in an interview with Kol Yisrael. Erdan said he was not surprised to hear that Israeli and PA negotiators were discussing the status of Jerusalem, and pointed out that government leaders had stated prior to talks that no issue would be left off the table.

However, like Lapid, Erdan expressed belief that Jerusalem will remain a united city under Israeli sovereignty.

The PA has insisted on receiving all land east of the 1949 armistice line, including the eastern part of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – Judaism’s most sacred site.

While Lapid insisted on Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, he said he does support the “two states for two peoples” solution, which would mean putting a significant part of the land of Israel under PA control, to be used to establish a new Arab state.

Splitting the land of Israel will be a painful process, he warned, and the need to evict tens of thousands of Israelis – or more – from their homes in Judea and Samaria could split the nation.

When it comes to the point of eviction, the odds are good that the government will call for new elections, or for a national referendum, in order to get the nation’s support, he added.

In 2005, the government – led by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – evicted nearly 10,000 Israelis from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria under the “Disengagement” plan. The highly controversial plan became increasingly unpopular in hindsight as Hamas rose to power in Gaza and used the territory to launch multiple battles against Israel, and to fire rockets on major Israeli cities.

Adding to backlash against the plan was the fact that the government largely failed to resettle those who were forced from their homes. As of mid-2013, approximately half of former Gaza resident Israelis were still living in temporary housing. Many of the business owners who were among the expellees are still operating from temporary office space, and several are currently facing eviction.”

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