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.”