Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (HaBayit HaYehudi) chose to mark the opening of the 47th Jerusalem Day celebrations on May 27 at the prestigious Merkaz Harav rabbinical college, which is one of the emblems of religious Zionism. Before thousands of enthusiastic spectators, Ariel declared, “Jerusalem will never again be divided. There are and will be no more freezes [on settlement construction], and we will not put up with the delays or restrictions [on construction] in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. We will continue to build in all parts of our land.” Ariel sees his role in the government as an ideological mission, and thus makes the most of it. Prior to virtually each of US Secretary of State John Kerry's visits to Israel, Ariel took care to announce yet another new construction project, intent on sabotaging the talks.
Ever since what looks like the collapse of the negotiations, Ariel has had much to celebrate. And there is nothing like Jerusalem Day to display sentiments by making euphoric statements on the ongoing construction in the city. However, what Ariel and the other right-wing leaders apparently refuse to realize is that by their very rejection of the two-state solution and the division of Jerusalem they are sowing themselves the seeds of a binational state.