British PM calls Israeli settlement building 'genuinely shocking'

Fielding questions in parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday criticized what he called Israel’s "encirclement" of east Jerusalem and said it was "genuinely shocking."

Asked by an opposition lawmaker whether “illegal settlements and constructions are a major roadblock that hinder peaceful negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians, and what the UK government would do to stop it, Cameron said he was a “well known as a strong friend of Israel” but he was in disagreement with its policies on Jerusalem.

He told the House of Commons that during his first visit to Israel’s capital he had seen “what has happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, and it is genuinely shocking.”

While his Conservative government was supportive of Israel, "we do not support illegal settlements, and we do not support what is happening in East Jerusalem," said Cameron.

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Vicki York

Thu, 25 Feb 2016

Mr Cameron please read this.
Jerusalem was never an Arab city; Jews have held a majority in Jerusalem since 1870, and “east-west” is a geographic, not political designation. It is no different than claiming that the Eastern shore of Maryland should be a separate political entity from the rest of the state.
In 1880, Jews constituted 52 percent of the Old City population in East Jerusalem and were still inhabiting 42 percent of the Old City in 1914. In 1948, there were 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem, with 65,000 Arabs. A joint Jordanian-Israeli census reported that 67.7 percent of the city’s population in 1961 was Jewish. A 1967 aerial photo reveals the truth about the area called “East Jerusalem”: It was no more than an overcrowded walled city with a few scattered neighborhoods surrounded by villages.
Although uniting the city transformed all of Jerusalem into the largest city in Israel, moderate Palestinian leaders continue to reject this idea. Their minimal demand for “just East Jerusalem” really means the Jewish holy sites (including the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall), which Arabs have failed to protect, and the return of neighborhoods that house a significant percentage of Jerusalem’s present-day Jewish population. Most of that city is built on rock-strewn empty land around the city that was in the public domain for the past 44 years.
With an overall population of nearly 890,800 (2013), separating “East Jerusalem” and “West Jerusalem” is as viable and acceptable as the notion of splitting Berlin into two cities again, or separating East Harlem from the rest of Manhattan.
Arab claims to Jerusalem, a Jewish city by all definitions, reflect the “what’s-mine-is-mine, what’s-yours-is-mine” mentality underlying Palestinian concepts of how to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. That concept is also expressed in the demand for the “Right of Return,” not just in Jerusalem – Israel’s capital, but inside the “Green Line” as well.

Eli E. Hertz, July, 2015

Ulf Emeleus

Thu, 25 Feb 2016

European Leaders have no information of the basic legal situation of the land of Israel. The West bank aswell as Gaza are original parts of the Jewish homeland according to the Mandate stipulations of 1922 given solely to the Jewish people all over the World, as many wellknown international lawyers ( Jaques Gauthier, Cythia Wallace) have repeatedly stressed. The occupation of the West bank ended in 1967 when the occupier Jordania was driven out of the territory. As Israel has not found any partner who firstly acknowledges the State of Israel and secondly is willing to enter into final peace negotiations giving secure borders to both negotiating partners Israel and the Palestinians, no international law can go against itself and hinder Israel from administering the Jewiish homeland territories allotted to the Jews in 1922 and therefore to the state of Israel, the beneficiary of that allotment, as it sees best.

Ulf Emeleus
Helsinki, Finland

JL

Thu, 25 Feb 2016

There is something I do not understand. Throughout the years, any country that won a war and captured land, kept the land. Why is it different for Israel? In 1967, they did not want a war and they did not start the war. But, they won the war! Why not have every other country in the world return land that they won in wars; then and only then, ask Israel to do the same. If "settlements" in captured land are illegal, what does that make Texas, California, and major parts of Europe?
What is shocking to me is the double standard contantly applied to Israel. Does PM Cameron feel that the 13 Colonies should be returned to England?

eric blackman

Wed, 24 Feb 2016

What is most shocking, of course , is the fact that Jerusalem was closed to those of the Jewish faith between 1948 and 1967! That fact seemed not to annoy any British politicians , so be it. The record of Arab treatment of Jewish property in Jerusalem during those same years was also shocking to unbiased. Hebrew prophets have foretold the events of these latter days, the days of "building up of Jerusalem",Amen.

Joan Hertz

Wed, 24 Feb 2016

Keeping people informed is nice but u should do something about it like calling for a boycott of countries, business & colleges that boycott Israel or are anti-Israel . Christians United for Israel does more to disseminate information and support than any Jewish organization who seem afraid to really take action

SANDRA GP;DSTEIN

Wed, 24 Feb 2016

IF ONE GOES BACK TO THE BALFOUR DECLARATION AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS BOTH JERUSALEM AND THE OCCUPIED SETTLEMENTS THAT THE WORLD IS TALKING ABOUT ALL BELONG TO THE jEWISH STATE AND NOT THE ARABS AND IT CAN ALSO BE CHECKED BY READING THE CONTOVERSY FROM TIME iMMERMORIAL BY JOAN PETERS AND MANY OTHER DOCUMENTARIES THAT CAN BE FOUND IF ONE IS INTERESTED IN GONG BACK TO THE WHOLE HISTORY OF PALESTINEi I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE IN THE KORAN DOES IT SAY THAT JERUSALEM BELONGS TO THE ARABS

Edna

Wed, 24 Feb 2016

Mr. Cameron is in no position to criticise Israel.

The UK is trying to strong-muscle curtail, any way and every way possible, the influx of Arab Muslim migrants trying to get into Britain via Europe.

Mr. Cameron is protecting his country against Muslim Arab encroachment, and he must accept that minuscule Israel has not been under British Mandate for eons, and has highly erudite and intelligent Israeli/Jewish leaders who are more than capable if protecting what rightfully belongs to Israel....namely :Jerusalem in its entirety, as well as Judea and Samaria.

Stephen Rosen

Wed, 24 Feb 2016

What about UK's "occupied territories" : Northern Ireland, Malvina, Gibralter, etc. as well occupied Tibet (China), occupied French Guyana, Polynesia and Basque lands, occupied New Guinea (Indonesia Kalmitan), and the list goes on world wide.

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