"For the first time in the history of the Jewish nation, a situation has arisen in which the ruling party (Kadima) is willing to offer Jerusalem's most precious parts to the worst of our enemies," Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking at a conference of Mossad Harav Kook in Jerusalem, the Likud chairman said, "this is not only a political failure, but it also jeopardizes our security. It is a fundamental moral failure in the national, Jewish and religious sense."
Mossad Harav Kook, named for Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, is the flagship-publishing house of the national-religious movement.
During the conference, which focused on the morality of Israel's leaders, Netanyahu said "Jerusalem was destroyed a number of times, taken away from our nation, conquered – but the Jewish nation has never abandoned the city; it fought for it time and time again. Jews throughout the generations were scattered all over, in this and that ghetto, and recited the words 'Next year in Jerusalem'. The Israeli nation has never given up on its capital."
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and chief rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar were among the dignitaries who attended the conference.
Netanyahu also called to instill Jewish tradition through the public education system "in order to preserve our country, and, first and foremost, Jerusalem.
"I am willing to die for this, and I'm certain you are as well. This faith and devotion will be upheld forever. Hold your heads high, be proud of our tradition and safeguard Jerusalem," he said.
An aide to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in response "Netanyahu incited against (slain prime minister) Yitzhak Rabin, then against (President) Shimon Peres and (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak, and now he is inciting against Olmert and Kadima.
"He knows full well that the issue of Jerusalem was never raised in the negotiations with the Palestinians," the source said.