Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Back to Opinion

Bibi Bombshell: ‘Many Jewish Neighborhoods in J’lem Will Remain in Israel’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped a bombshell today in a speech at the Plaza Hotel to about 500 people gathered by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Israel might accept a peace agreement in which parts of Jerusalem are handed over to a Palestinian state.

He said it backwards, but the message was unmistakable. Here are his words:

You all know that there are many Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem that will remain in Israel regardless of any agreement that is reached.

Translation: It’s possible that an agreement (that is, something on which the parties agree) could be reached in which some Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem will not remain in Israel. I couldn’t get any Israelis to comment afterward.

It didn’t come as part of the prepared speech, but as part of his answer to one of the two written questions from the audience read to him afterward by Malcolm Hoenlein. (Did they arrange it in advance so he could slip the bombshell into an afterthought? Dunno yet.)

Among the dignitaries present who was greeted from the podium by Presidents Conference chair Alan Solow before Bibi spoke was Jamal Benomar, a Moroccan United Nations civil servant who serves as chief of staff to the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Ambassador Ali Treki of Libya. I asked Israeli ambassador Gabriella Shalev if it was a big deal for him to show up to a thing like this. She said, “Yes, certainly” (ken, betach).

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.