Netanyahu Mocks Livni’s Kosel Pledge

YERUSHALAYIM -

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu mocked Tzipi Livni’s pledge earlier this week that the Kosel will remain forever in Israel’s hands.

“I heard from people who are willing to give the Palestinians a capital city in Yerushalayim,” he said, referring to Livni and her running mate, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, though without naming them.

“I heard them say the Kosel will remain ours. How is it going to remain ours? As an enclave inside the Palestinian area? And how exactly are we going to get to it? In convoys? In helicopters? In armored vehicles? We didn’t return to the Kosel after 2,000 years to get to it in armored vehicles.”

Livni and Herzog attended candle-lighting at the Kosel on Sunday, where Livni said that “Israel’s sovereignty here in Yerushalayim is an expression of the historic tie between the people and their country. This sacred and historic site will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever.”

The remarks reminded journalists of Netanyahu’s first successful run for prime minister 18 years ago, when he claimed that Shimon Peres “will divide Yerushalayim.”

In other political news, Labor MK Stav Shaffir accused the government of “electionomics,” for rushing funds to favored constituencies ahead of elections in March.

In a letter to Central Election Committee chairman Justice Salim Jubran on Tuesday, Shaffir protested the transfer of NIS 12.8 million to a visitors’ center in Yehuda and Shomron as part of illegal election propaganda.

According to Shaffir, the details of where funds will be spent were not sent to Finance Committee members a week before they were brought to a vote Monday, when the panel approved them, as required by Knesset regulations, and that their transfer was not urgent, so there was no justification for holding the vote between the Knesset’s dispersal and the election.

Shaffir wrote that, in recent weeks, taxpayers’ money was used for Netanyahu’s election campaign and Slomiansky turned the Finance Committee “a market in which the hottest merchandise is our money.”

The Attorney-General’s Office said it is looking into the matter.