Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev asserted Wednesday that the Palestinians don't have roots in east Jerusalem.
"No matter how deep they can dig, the Palestinians will not find a single Palestinian coin here," Regev said at a ceremony to launch a preservation project of an ancient Yemenite synagogue in Silwan (Kfar HaShiloach) in east Jerusalem, which was destroyed 80 years ago.
"This region knew many occupiers and rulers, but no one has succeeded in cutting off the deep roots of the Jewish people. It’s always exciting to walk these streets, where Jews walked 3000 years ago.”
Minister Regev was joined in the ceremony by the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), who is also running for Jerusalem mayor.
"Our right to this land is a subject of constant discussion in recent days, in which we must explain the obvious—the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people alone. Only the Jewish people are entitled to national rights between the river and the sea," she said, referring to the criticism over the controversial Nationality Law.
"Our language will always be the Hebrew language, the flag will always be the Star of David, Jerusalem will always be our capital, and our anthem will always read ‘the soul of a Jew yearns,’" Regev asserted.
"Does this mean we are violating someone’s rights? On the contrary, the Jewish state knows how to ethically treat its minorities. Individual civil rights are enshrined in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty and other laws."
Regev accused that "there are members of the media who, after failing at the ballot box, try to drive a wedge between us and our Druze brothers. We will not allow this to happen."
"The Druze are our own flesh and blood, they serve in the IDF…We love you and want to share a peacful life with you, here, in our country," Regev added.
Minister Elkin spoke about the Jewish settlements outside the Old City walls. “We look at the Old City and to the West, and remember the story of Mishkenot Sha'ananim, and rightly so. But there was another Jewish neighborhood among the first in the region—this neighborhood here, in eastern Jerusalem, which is unjustly excluded from the narrative."
“We are proud to be part of the Yemenite immigrants' settlement. This settelment is another chapter, a much later one but equally important chapter in the history of our people in Jerusalem," Elkin added.
Among the participants at the event was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is visiting Israel.
Earlier, Huckabee took part in laying the cornerstone at a new neighborhood in the settlement of Efrat, located in the Judean Mountains of the West Bank. The foremer US governor said that one day he might buy a vacation home in the settlement.