The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu strongly defended Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when he spoke to AIPAC on March 22 in the United States. The building in East Jerusalem is an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem. Everybody knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement. Building them does not stop the possibility of a two-state solution.

Israel, so the Prime Minister, wants peace with the Palestinians. The government of Israel is presently showing its commitment to peace both in word and deed. From day one we have called on the Palestinian Authority to begin peace negotiations without delay.

On March 24, 2010, it was reported by AP that the Jerusalem municipality had approved 20 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem.

The new project is funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz. An old hotel, the Shepherd, will be torn down and 20 apartments and a three-level underground parking lot will be built instead. AP wrote:

City spokesman Gidi Schmerling said plans for the project have been known since last July and that last week’s approval was merely a procedural step. He said media reports were blowing the matter out of proportion, saying they were “meant to create a provocation during the prime minister’s visit in the U.S.” … Moskowitz, an influential supporter of Israeli settlement in east Jerusalem, purchased the Shepherd Hotel in 1985. The hotel is located near a government compound that includes several ministries and the national police headquarters.

Since 1967 Jerusalem has abounded with activity: symphony orchestras, dance troupes, chamber ensembles and choirs perform regularly. There is a wide selection of museums and festivals: the Israel Museum, the Rockefeller Museum, the Tower of David Museum, the Bible Lands Museum, the Islamic Museum and Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.


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