The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today criticized those who condemned Israel’s recent decision to construct 900 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jerusalem neighborhood. The entities that criticized the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee’s determination to build new housing units included the U.S. State Department, which called the decision “illegitimate” and “a disappointing development,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose spokesperson deemed it “illegal,” and the European Union.
The National Council of Young Israel also noted that the criticism emanating from the U.S. State Department directly contradicts the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which expressly states that it is U.S. law that a united Jerusalem, including the area in which the new construction is being proposed, is recognized as the capital of Israel.
“The U.S. State Department cannot and should not take a position that directly controverts U.S. law, which is what it has enigmatically elected to do in this situation,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “It is our hope that the State Department will reconsider its stance and act in a manner that conforms to U.S. law concerning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
“The notion that Israel’s fundamental right to construct new housing for its citizens within the borders of its capital city is perpetually under attack from the international community is outrageous and offensive,” continued Weiss. “Just as Israel would never contemplate dictating where another country can or cannot build housing within its own territorial boundaries, the U.S. State Department and the European nations have absolutely no right to dictate when and where Israel can build much-needed housing for its own people.”
“The National Council of Young Israel endorses Israel’s legal entitlement to build in Jerusalem and fully supports the Israeli government’s decisions relating to engaging in activities to address the needs of it citizenry and to protect their security interests however they see fit,” added Weiss. “We call upon the State Department, United Nations, and European Union to immediately retract their unfounded and unfitting critiques of Israel’s domestic affairs and internal decision-making process.”