Photo: AFP
Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Photo: AFP
US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones
Photo: Ofer Amram

US, Europe to shun Jerusalem Day celebrations

EU president Germany informs Foreign Ministry that ambassadors of European countries will not show up for events marking 40-year anniversary of capital's reunification; US ambassador to follow suit

European Union countries will not take part in the celebrations marking the 40-year anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, EU president Germany said Thursday in a diplomatic letter sent to the Foreign Ministry and the Knesset.


US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones will also not participate in the events. Diplomatic sources told Ynet that the event was not on the ambassador’s timetable.


Ambassadors of all EU countries will not show up for the special Knesset session which will be on Jerusalem Day on Wednesday.


European countries do not recognize Jerusalem's reunification. As far as they are concerned, east Jerusalem, which was occupied during the Six Day War, is an occupied territory.


Among the EU countries there is a difference of opinion regarding the participation in the Jerusalem Day celebrations. Germany decided to send the letter to the official bodies in Israel, but a number of EU countries are considering violating the boycott and taking part in the celebrations.


The Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors were also invited to take part in the events, and Foreign Ministry officials expressed their concern over the possibility that they would also fail to show up.


Sources in the Foreign Ministry noted that diplomatic moves were taken in a bid to prevent the European boycott. The ministry's spokesperson said that "Jerusalem is Israel's united capital. This week we will mark 40 years of reunification. Many guests were invited to take part in the events, including diplomats. We expect them to attend."


Sources in the German Embassy in Israel told Ynet on Sunday morning that the international community viewed Jerusalem from a different point of view.


"We believe that Jerusalem's future should be part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Our point of view is not new and Germany must take this stance in accordance with the rest of the countries.


"We cannot force other European Union countries to accept our opinion, but we can definitely decide for ourselves. Germany cannot take part in an official event of the Israeli government, if this implies that we recognize these borders of Jerusalem."


Lilach Shoval contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 05.13.07, 09:06
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