Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made clear to the world that Israel was not engaged in any discussions with Palestinian leaders about the future of Jerusalem. His comments were a sharp rebuke to statements made by the head of the American consulate in Jerusalem, Jack Walles, who was quoted by a Palestinian newspaper as saying that Israel has agreed to discuss the future status of Jerusalem during its peace talks with Palestinians. Walles told Al-Ayyam, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had told both sides her country assumed any peace discussion included Israel return to the borders of 1967 and what would be the future of Jerusalem.
The history of Israel entails repeated delay in confronting issues in hope that time is on its side. Now, is the time to discuss Jerusalem, not a year or two years from now. Delays reinforce the power of militants and make difficult efforts by moderate Palestinian leaders to construct the bridge of peace.