The US Embassy moving to Jerusalem is nothing to celebrate, Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg said on Monday, defending her party’s decision to boycott the event.
“We’re not boycotting Jerusalem or the US and certainly not peace – the opposite. We are expressing our position,” Zandberg said at the opening of Meretz’s faction meeting in the Knesset.
“We’d like to see the US Embassy move to Jerusalem, just like we’d like to see the embassies of all countries move to Jerusalem, like any normal capital in the world,” she stated, “but what makes Jerusalem an abnormal capital is that it still hasn’t fulfilled its role in a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Zandberg said she’d like to see Jerusalem divided into an Israeli capital and a Palestinian one, each with its own embassies.
“In a final settlement, this city will be divided, just as it should be. Jerusalem can have recognized, final and secure borders,” she argued.
Meanwhile, Zandberg said peace has not arrived, pointing out the ongoing riots on the Gaza border.
“Let’s hope that, at the very last moment, we can stop the violence... This event, unfortunately, not only doesn’t bring peace closer, it distances it,” she said.
Zandberg said has is proud of her party taking this position despite most of the others not agreeing with Meretz.
“We know peace is not at the door, and there is more for the Government of Israel and the US to do to promote it,” she said.
The Joint List is the only other faction in the Knesset that expressed opposition to the move, and the parties making up the bloc organized protests outside the new embassy.
The embassy’s opening took place the day before “Nakba Day,” when Palestinians and some Israeli Arabs mark the “tragedy” of Israel’s establishment.
MK Aida Touma-Sliman of the Joint List said Palestinian blood is on the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, saying they’re “two hooligans who lit the area on fire.”