Gantz sparks outrage with willingness to make room for Palestinian capital in Jerusalem

“United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, not the capital of anyone else,” said Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Rafi Peretz.

By World Israel News Staff

Defense Minister Benny Gantz angered Israel’s right-wing with comments he made in a Thursday interview with an Arabic-language newspaper in which he said Jerusalem can accommodate the capital of a Palestinian state.

Gantz made his remarks to London-based Saudi news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat. He said, “Jerusalem must stay united, but it will have place for a Palestinian capital. It’s a vast city, filled with sites that are holy to all of us.”

The statement, which contained an inherent contradiction, as it’s not clear how the city is to remain both united and the capital of two states, sparked an immediate reaction from right-wing politicians in Israel.

Rafi Peretz, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage and Knesset member for the national-religious Jewish Home party, tweeted, “United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, not the capital of anyone else. This is where our forefathers walked and this is where we were created. Gantz, I know you enough to know you believe that, too.”

Bezalel Smotrich of the Yemina party, said, “Jerusalem will continue to be the united capital of the State of Israel, and its alone, and there will be no room for the capital of any other state, which in any case will not be established, even long after Benny Gantz and his party disappear from the political landscape of the State of Israel.”

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Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin of the Likud party wrote on Facebook that Jerusalem was “the heart of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel, for which Jews longed during 2,000 years of exile. We were privileged to unite Jerusalem as the capital of Israel forever. There are not two Jerusalems and no one has the right to question our full right to it. No one has the right to forgo the dream of generations that came true.”

Former mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. now a Likud MK, tweeted, “This is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the State of Israel.”

Fateen Mulla, a Druze member of Likud, said, “Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, period.”

“Gantz’s drop in the polls seems to cause him to utter nonsense and vanity in an attempt to extricate his condition from the failure he has reached, and on the way he drags the State of Israel into an abyss with garbled and dangerous statements,” he said.

In a recent poll, Gantz garnered the support of only 7% of those surveyed.