Barkat To UK’s Cameron: E. Jerusalem Residents Better off Now Than In Time of British Mandate

“Jerusalem, like London, is a city where every resident has the right to live where he wants and were discrimination based on religion, race or sex is prohibited,” said Mayor Nir Barkat in a press release on Thursday.

Barkat’s statement came in response to remarks made by British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday, in which he stated that the UK does not support the actions of Israel in east Jerusalem in response to a question about London’s plans for the Palestinian issue.

“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of east Jerusalem, occupied east Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” British Media quoted Cameron as saying to parliament members in the House of Commons.

Barkat responded that “Britain is a great and important friend of Israel and Jerusalem, but Cameron is mistaken in his statements due to a lack of knowledge and facts of the reality on the ground.”

“What building in the east of the city is he shocked by?” asked Barkat. “By the new and advanced schools that we have built there? The new roads we are paving there? The child welfare clinics and community centers we have started there?”

The level of investment in the area is not found in any other country in the Middle East, claimed Barkat, “not in the Palestinian Territories, not in Syria and not in Iraq.”

“The status of east Jerusalem residents is better today than in any of the countries surrounding us, certainly better than in the time of the British Mandate.”

Barkat encouraged the British leader to come visit the city and see the improvements for himself.

“I invite Cameron, a true friend of Israel, to come on a tour with me to see the reduced social gaps in east Jerusalem and to work with us in promoting development and cooperation rather than build walls and barriers in the heart of Jerusalem,” said Barkat.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Following British Prime Minister David Cameron’s particularly harsh language against Israel’s presence in eastern Jerusalem, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat released a statement on Thursday questioning Cameron’s knowledge of facts and reality.

    Mayor Barkat rhetorically asked what exactly “shocked” Cameron in regards to construction in eastern Jerusalem: “The newest, most advanced schools we are building to educate the youth? The new roads we are paving for the residents? The childcare and community centers we are establishing for the benefit of the families?”

    Furthermore, the Jerusalem mayor highlighted the lack of aid which the Palestinian Authority and surrounding Muslim countries neglect to provide to their own people, while the Israeli government has produced a far higher standard of living for Arab residents.

    “The situation of the residents of eastern Jerusalem is much better today than the countries around us, and certainly better than the time of the British Mandate,” Barkat retorted.

    The mayor recommended that Britain adopt the current united model of Jerusalem, as it is “most preferred among Arab residents, as indicated by international surveys recently conducted in the city.”

    “Just as in London, Jerusalemites are free to choose to live wherever they wish. Just as in London, any form of discrimination based on religion, race or sex is prohibited by law,” Barkat said.

    Barkat personally invited Cameron, “Israel’s true friend,” to visit and see for himself the commitment to Arab residents in eastern Jerusalem, and the great advancements made in bridging gaps across the city.

    “I invite Prime Minister Cameron to work with us to advance the development of the city of Jerusalem, rather than work to build walls and sharpen divisions in the heart of Jerusalem.”

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply