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Yesha Council Chairman Dayan
Photo: Gil Yohanan
US Secretary of State Clinton
Photo: AP
Settlers to Clinton: We'll never divide Jerusalem
In letter to secretary of state, Yesha Council asks Washington to ease pressure on Israel to stop construction in east Jerusalem, basing their claims on people of Israel's 3,000-year connection to their capital. 'We will not negotiate on the issue of Jerusalem. The Jewish people worldwide support Prime Minister Netanyahu's action,' they say
Leaders of the Yesha Council sent an official letter Wednesday to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her and President Barack Obama to ease their pressure on Israel to stop construction in east Jerusalem, basing their claims on the people of Israel's historical connection to their capital.

 

"We Jews are the descendants of King David, and 100 generations of Jews who built and glorified Jerusalem as our capital, beginning over 3,000 years ago," the settler leaders said in the letter.

 

 

The writers said they were representing the entire Israeli public. "We Israelis believe in the integrity of a strong, unified and undivided capital for our nation – Jerusalem, the Holy City… From time immemorial the Jews have worshipped Jerusalem and the Temple – and prayed for Jerusalem since the dawn of our civilization.

 

"Neither Romans nor Greeks, Crusaders nor Arabs, Ottomans nor British ever succeeded in shaking our bonds to Jerusalem," said the letter, signed by Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan and Director-General Naftali Bennett. "All tried, and ultimately failed. It is we Jews who triumphed and recreated Jewish sovereignty in 1948 and proclaimed Jerusalem our capital."

 

The letter ends with a request: "We ask you and President Obama to see in perspective our 3,000- year-old bond with Jerusalem. Thus, when you demand that we not built housing in our capital, or that we divide our capital and surrender parts of it to others, you must realize that this is unacceptable to Jews everywhere and to us Israelis.

 

"We will not negotiate on the issue of Jerusalem," they conclude. "We will never divide Jerusalem. The Jewish people worldwide support Prime Minister Netanyahu's action, and stand firmly behind him on this important issue of Israel's right to defend itself as a sovereign nation.

 

"We deeply appreciate America's friendship, but it must be clearly understood: We are a free and sovereign people, and we have the right to determine our destiny."

 

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