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Lenk: Jerusalem will always be Israeli capital

  • Lenk - SABC HOME
Ambassador Lenk appeared on the popular SABC News morning show, Newsroom, yesterday (Tuesday January 31) and discussed Israel's relationship with the US, the controversy over Donald Trump wanting to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, and the need for the Holy Land’s Palestinian neighbours to reject terror and return to direct peace talks. Watch the full 12-minute interview and hear Ambassador Lenk’s frank and honest responses – and his open and relaxed demeanour.
by ANT KATZ | Feb 01, 2017

Watch this fascinating interview in the SABC Newsroom during which Ambassador Arthur Lenk takes what could be some very contentious questions and answers them candidly and without raising an eyebrow - almost infuriating the show's anchor who seems to be trying to solicit emotion from the Israeli envoy 


“Interesting” is probably the nicest way of discussing what's been going on in the US, says the anchor. Before discussing the possible embassy move, he asks Lenk: “What do you make of Donald Trump’s first ten days?”

“Its new, it's just getting started, and I think everyone knew it was going to be different,” replies Lenk, “in that Republicans coming in after a Democrat, and remember that President Obama came in as a Democrat after President George W Bush, a Republican. That's democracy.”

The anchor then raised with the ambassador the issue Lenk had come in to discuss: “The intention to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is causing a lot of consternation,” he says. “If one can call it that, or the intention to do that, what do you make of this?”

Lenk - SABSAmbassador Lenk: “Well, Jerusalem is our capital and that's where our Supreme Court is, that's where government is.”

The ambassador points out that diplomats in South Africa stay in Pretoria “because that's your capital”.

Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, says Lenk, and so he thinks it would be only natural for embassies to be there.

The anchor comes back with the well-weathered parable that moving the embassy could hamper any negotiation of a two-state solution.

The two-state solution is the solution, replies Lenk, and “Israel is ready to talk to our Palestinian neighbours. We were ready before the election in America,” he adds. We're ready now and we call our Palestinian neighbours, says the ambassador.

However, he adds, in any case, no matter how we work it out, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It's been the capital of the Jewish people since the time of King David. “And that's not going to change.”

The pair discuss the multi-faith claims on Jerusalem, the peace process, how much Ambassador Lenk has learned from South Africans about how parties can make peace and many more contentious issues.

As much as the SABC presenter raises highly contentious issues, seeming to want to draw Lenk into angry responses, so Lenk refuses to become nonplussed, keeping calm and cool as is his wont.

Watch the complete interview above…

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