Israeli Labour party leader Avi Gabbay said yesterday that preserving a “united” Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is more important than achieving a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Gabbay praised US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming that over 90 per cent of Israelis “yearn for a united Jerusalem”.
Thus, he continued: “A united Jerusalem is even more important than peace.”
The Times of Israel notes that, contrary to international law, “Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is embraced by parties on both sides of the political spectrum”.
In October, Gabbay made headlines when he expressed opposition to the removal of illegal West Bank settlements in the context of a “peace deal” with Palestinians. He subsequently described the settlement enterprise as “the beautiful and devoted face of Zionism”.
The Labour leader has tacked right as a strategy to attract voters, but without much success; in recent polls, Likud remains the most popular party, with its closest rival named as Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.