JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on citizens to continue with their daily routines in the face of the current wave of terror.
“Jerusalem is sending a loud and clear message to all the people of Israel: Do not let the murderers get what they want. We must continue with our lives,” Barkat said in a statement sent to the international media. “Citizens from all of Israel and people from across the globe must come and visit Jerusalem, especially now.
“Come and pray at our holy sites and at the Western Wall. Enjoy our abundant cultural events, museums, and tourist sites. Walk around the city center and the Old City – because that is how we will show our enemies that they will not win.”
Barkat called on citizens to be “alert and responsible, and, most of all, unified, strong, and determined in the current struggle against terrorists and the shocking forms of evil that we are being confronted with.”
He called the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism, including several attacks throughout Jerusalem, “brutal and cruel.”
Barkat added: “Inflammatory incitement and lies from mosques, Palestinian leaders and the Islamic Movement are resulting in the murder of innocent civilians, and terror in the streets of Jerusalem.”
On Wednesday, an editorial in the Israeli daily Haaretz criticized Barkat for saying the previous day, in the wake of two deadly terror attacks in his city that the government should close off eastern Jerusalem neighbourhoods.
“This is ridiculous,” the editorial said. “Throughout his mayoralty, Barkat has repeatedly declared that the desire for a shared life and normalcy would ultimately win, bringing about the city’s complete unification. He’s a big believer in the ‘Israelization’ of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, and has worked hard to impose Israeli sovereignty on the Arab neighbourhoods.
“It’s impossible to hermetically seal off the hundreds of pathways, streets and roads linking the two parts of the city. This suggests that Barkat’s demand was meant for public relations, more to position him as ‘Jerusalem’s Rudy Giuliani’ than to prevent the next terror attack.”
The editorial concludes with a call for “dialogue with and confidence-building measures toward the Palestinians.”