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'Jews Have Been in Jerusalem for Thousands of Years'


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Telling Jews they can't build homes in Jerusalem is like telling Americans they can't build in Washington, D.C., or the French that they can't build in Paris, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

The comment came in response to condemnation of Israel for Israeli construction in communities in Judea and Samaria, a.k.a. the West Bank.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov asked the UN Security Council, "How will advancing the construction of over 1,700 housing units bring the parties closer to negotiated peace, uphold the two-state solution, create hope for the Palestinian people or bring security to Israelis?"

The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting on the subject of Israeli settlement building on October 14.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in Jewish communities in biblical Judea and Samaria, an area that Palestinians want to take over for a future state.  That area also includes eastern Jerusalem, where all important biblical sites are.

"The UN envoy to the Middle East's remarks to the Security Council distort history and international law and push peace farther away," said the statement from Netanyahu's office.

"Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace. The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish People's connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there," the statement continued.

"The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal. The Palestinian demand that a future Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews is outrageous and the UN must condemn it instead of adopting it," it concluded.

Meanwhile, Israel won a small victory against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.   Brussels Airlines said it would continue to serve Achva halva (a sweet made from sesame seeds) on its flights despite the fact that it's made in the Barkan Industrial Zone, in Samaria.

The airline said it was removing the product last week from the menu after a passenger complained because it wanted to serve food that was "amicable to all." 

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