Itongadol.- Israel does not need to apologize for or justify its presence in the Jewish People’s historic city of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday in a special Knesset meeting in honor of Jerusalem Day.
Netanyahu inveighed against the UNESCO decision last month ignoring Israel’s ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall: “It’s so absurd, so ridiculous; I can’t get over it.”
“Do people claim the Egyptians aren’t connected to the pyramids in Giza? It’s ridiculous,” he exclaimed.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) also lamented the UNESCO resolution in his remarks, saying “no international organization can break our special connection to Jerusalem, the connection of the eternal people to the eternal city.”
The prime minister detailed Israel’s ties to the ancient city, since the time of King David and through the First and Second Temple eras.
Netanyahu also discussed violence and incitement by Palestinians relating to the Temple Mount, saying that, ideally, there would be freedom of worship for all, but a lack of tolerance by some in the region prevent that ideal from coming true.
In addition, Netanyahu said that violence has gone down near the Temple Mount due to coordination with neighboring countries.
“We’re making the same efforts for Ramadan,” he added. “Violence will not deter us or put our control over Jerusalem in doubt.”
Netanyahu hailed Jerusalem as “a mixed city with a complex fabric of life,” saying “coexistence is not perfect or idyllic, but it still exists.”
“Jerusalem deserves quiet. We cannot let anyone spark extremism,” he stated.