Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat blasted American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for daring to suggest that Muslim inhabitants are not treated on an equal basis with Jews. Clinton had denounced the demolition of Palestinian homes as not “helpful” to the pursuit of peace in the region. She has also been critical of continued building of homes in the West Bank. Barkat said, “I totally reject the notion that we are kicking people out of their homes, that is not the case. If you build illegal houses, you pay the consequences…I expect people to obey the law.” Of course, Palestinians do NOT receive the same treatment for requests to build homes as do Jewish inhabitants. Many Muslim residents of east Jerusalem lived under Jordanian occupation of the city and therefore papers and permits were not as tightly governed.
Perhaps, the most revealing statement from the mouth of the mayor of a city is that sharing the city “is the wrong solution. It may look good on paper but it will not work.” This comment is very reassuring to Muslim inhabitants of east Jerusalem. Don’t residents of a city want the mayor to say they don’t belong there? Barkat is simply another example of Israeli leaders who have forgotten the dream of those who created Israel that it would be a model in which both Muslims and Jews could live on equal terms.
Bravo for Hillary Clinton!