Two U.S. Jewish groups expressed concerns that top Israeli officials were proposing sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians.
“Mr. Prime Minister, we cannot state strongly enough our belief that the Government and people of the State of Israel hold Yerushalayim in trust for the Jewish people no matter where they may live, for we all have a share in the holy city,” leaders of the Orthodox Union wrote in a letter faxed Thursday to Ehud Olmert.
Haim Ramon, Olmert’s deputy, has offered the Palestinians sovereignty over the city’s Arab neighborhoods and a shared status in the Old City that would be bereft of national symbols. The offer comes ahead of a peace conference to be convened by the United States in November.
The Zionist Organization of America said it was “appalled” at the reports, saying that Ramon was making the offer at a time that Israel should be pressing the Palestinian Authority to make good on signed agreements to “arrest terrorists, close the bomb factories and end the incitement to hatred and murder that permeates the PA-controlled media, mosques schools and youth camps.”