The Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett (HaBayit HaYehudi) answered an urgent question by MK Erel Margalit (Israel Labor Party) about moving public entities outside of Jerusalem. MK Margalit said that the law requires all government offices to be in Jerusalem, and asked the Minister what his ministry (The Ministry for Jerusalem Affairs) is doing about it?
MK Bennett responded that it is indeed important for the government offices to be moved to Jerusalem. This will create more job opportunities. “The government ruled in 2007 that as many ministry units as possible must be moved to the capital. The Ministry of Economy is already in the process of moving its information systems office, among others. I call upon all my fellow ministers to do the same. It is not easy negotiating with the employees, but it is very important.”
MK Avraham Michaeli (Shas) added a question of his own: “It is not only the ministry offices that are outside of Jerusalem. Now, there is a de facto construction freeze on Jerusalem. How can you live with that? Why is there no construction in Jerusalem? Why is there no new housing for young couples?”
MK Bennett responded: “You are right. Already in the last government, there was a de facto construction freeze. This atrocity stems from the fact that past governments, and the government I am a member of, are in favor of establishing a Palestinian state within the land of Israel. Let us not fool ourselves by getting excited about the Saudi initiative or any other initiative. We are talking about the division of Jerusalem. There is no plausible situation, no script in which the Temple Mount, the City of David or the Mt. of Olives is not in the hands of any other authority, God forbid.”
Bennett added that “It is time we stopped fooling ourselves. One cannot say out loud ‘I support a united Jerusalem’ and in the same breath to support a Palestinian state. I call mainly upon my partners in the coalition. As it is well known, I am strongly opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and of course am opposed to the separation of Jerusalem, our eternal city.”