• Short Summary

    The Israeli Knesset's decision to pass a bill, declaring Jerusalem as Israel's undivided and eternal capital, has defied strong international opposition.

  • Description

    TV City of Jerusalem.

    Sv Mayor of jerusalem Teddy Kollek speaking in English.

    CU Mayor of Bethlehem Elias Friej Speaking in English.

    CU Israeli opposition leader Shimon peres speaking in English.

    CU Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaking.

    CU Former Israeli foreign Minister Abba Eban speaking

    Voting in Israeli Knesset, ZOOM INTO SV Prime Minister Menachen Begin

    KOLLEK: "We are here. We are a majority since one hundred and sixty years, a vast majority. There was no need of that law. Once it was submitted, it was very difficult for people in the Knesset to vote against it. I can understand that. It will make it harder for our international position than it was before."

    FRIEJ: "I believe even this will contradict Israeli claims of Jerusalem as a united city. If they believe themselves in this fact, and if Mr. Begin actually believes that Jerusalem is united, so whatever his office is on the east or the west or the south or the north is immaterial. As long as Jerusalem, according to his allegations is untied. But East jerusalem is an Arab town, and it will remain an Arab town."

    WP: "It is basically on the issue of Jerusalem, we are united, namely that Jerusalem must remain one city as the capital of Israel. As you know we have edited or changed the law in a way, by adding an item about free access and the development of the city itself."

    RABIN: " There is no doubt that many of the people in Israel supported the Bill because of certain provocations against us that were taking place in international or in the international arena including the United Nations, in Europe and in Egypt, that these provocations were aimed to put the question mark on Jerusalem as a united city."

    EBAN: "My feeling is that those who brought this Bill before the Knesset were activated not only by love of Jerusalem, but also by their desire to injure the peace process -the Camp David process. Mrs. Guela Cohen said quite frankly that is her objective. And there's complete harmony between injuring the Camp David process and bringing a bill in such an untimely way, when its provisions are not necessary. They are gratuitous. In other words, the judicial situation in Jerusalem, an Israel's capital is just as strong last week as it was this week."

    Initials dn/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Israeli Knesset's decision to pass a bill, declaring Jerusalem as Israel's undivided and eternal capital, has defied strong international opposition. On Thursday (31 July), Egyptian officials were considering whether to call off the talks on Palestinian autonomy which were scheduled to resume shortly. The Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, has strongly attacked the Bill, along with Bethalehem's Mayor, Elias Friej. Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, says there is little doubt the Jerusalem Bill will endanger the Camp David peace talks. But the Knesset's decision has been defended by Opposition leader, Shimon Peres, and former Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Both men say the Bill is necessary to preserve Israeli's unity.

    SYNOPSIS: Jerusalem is the "Mother City" for three major world religions. Mayor Teddy Killek, says there was no need for the Bill.

    The Israeli Knesset defied international opposition Wednesday night (30 July) by voting for the controversial Bill sixty-nine to fifteen, with three abstentions. The Bill was put forward last week (24 July) by extreme-right-wing member, Guela Cohen. It also calls for continued free access to the city's growth and development.

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