Written by by Staff Writer, CNN Staff Writer
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doubling down on his stance against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying there is no room in what he called “Eretz Israel” — Palestine — for an American Consulate.
Netanyahu had been much more circumspect and contrite in private calls with US President Donald Trump following his decision to go against decades of decades of US policy.
But on Sunday, Netanyahu delivered a defiant tirade in a speech before the Israeli parliament, during which he declared that Jerusalem is “all-inclusive” and that no one — not Arabs nor Palestinians — would ever be allowed to establish a Consulate for Palestine inside Jerusalem.
“We have already stated in unequivocal terms that we don’t want any Palestinian Authority presence in Eretz Israel, not even a representative presence; and we do not want any international presence,” he said.
“Those people who demand that we actually give the Palestinians the privileges of having an Israeli Consulate in Jerusalem are simply supporters of terrorism.”
Netanyahu’s speech is set to be repeated later today on a stage in the center of Jerusalem’s Old City, where dozens of speakers from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party will deliver speeches as the chief rabbis of Israel — the men revered for their role in Israel’s most sacred rituals — urge their congregation not to allow prayer in their synagogues on the day of the same people’s funeral.
Netanyahu’s main point is to galvanize his Jewish constituents around the issue of Jerusalem as a key strategic point of national importance and to give voters back home a voice on the issue — a threat which has been floated by ministers on his right wing.
The message has already seen several rabbis announce that they will allow their congregations to pray for day of the dead on November 11, with hundreds joining in on a Facebook page set up by Shai Piron, a secular Shas party member.
With Jerusalem under full Israeli control, Trump is widely expected to declare his decision on Jerusalem’s status as an endorsement of the Israeli view that the city must be the undivided capital of Israel — a move which the Palestinians oppose.
On Monday, Palestinians said they will stage protests against the announcement in East Jerusalem on Monday, while Israel said it would deploy thousands of police to guard the city.