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"Yasser Arafat feels he must consult with hundreds of millions of Muslims, before he can make any decisions with respect to Jerusalem; well Jerusalem is also the concern of all world Jewry", asserted Ambassador Dore Gold, Israel's former UN ambassador, who spoke at a Friends of Yesha meeting at the Hendon United Synagogue. Gold, who also met with the Board of Deputies carried a message that the involvement of the International community in the issue of Jerusalem is likely to increase in the months ahead: Up until now the world assumed that Israel's insistence on a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty was carved in stone. The perception emanating from Camp David is that the Jewish position is more pliable; this will now invite pressure on Israel in the future. This must be revised - the national consensus in Israel opposes concessions in Jerusalem. For Russian Jews, for example, the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 began a re-birth that led to the movement to free Soviet Jewry. At Camp David President Clinton proposed that Israel turn over two quarters of the Old City to Palestinian sovereignty. Prime Minister Barak did not reject this proposal but only asked Clinton to check with Arafat. Whatever Barak said at Camp David was oral, was stated to a third party (the US) and was hypothetical (dependent on achieving Palestinian agreement on all other issues). It cannot constitute a binding international commitment for future Israeli governments. A major world-wide information campaign is needed on Jewish rights in Jerusalem after Camp David. Gold now heads the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs. His writing on Jerusalem can be viewed on the centre's website:

The Zionist Standard



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