It's politically important for Zionists as their historic capital, national and religious center. It also symbolizes Judaism's revival and prominence.
For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died. For Muslims, it's their third holiest site. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
In 1947, the UN declared Jerusalem an international city. It remains so under UN trusteeship. It exclusively belongs to no one. Israel wants it entirely Judaized. Netanyahu excludes any other way.
Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu may omit saying so in manifesto principles. They may forgo them entirely. Nowadays, for most parties, they're "little more than afterthought," says Haaretz.
Platforms are short on details. They're rarely available in hardcopy. They're simply posted on party websites with little fanfare. They have little impact on voters.
Labor downgraded its own. It called for renewed Palestinian peace talks. It wants them within three months. Doing so continues longstanding hypocrisy. Palestinians can't pursue them without a legitimate partner. They never had one and don't now.
Labor also issued a separate, hardline document. It defended tough defense policies. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents.
Israeli politics don't lend themselves to pre-election platforms. Rule by coalition is policy. No party on its own gets enough for majority rule. Compromises forge alliances. This time won't be different. Governance will stay hardline.
Netanyahu represents the worst of right wing extremism. He wants peace avoided at all costs. He seeks no final status Palestinian agreement. He prioritizes permanent occupation.
He demands unchallenged settlement construction. He's not interested in UN opposition. "What the UN says doesn't interest me," he said.
He wants settlement construction continued unchallenged. He's heading Israel toward political isolation and doom. He favors confrontation over diplomacy. His leadership assures enhanced colonization, continued conflict, and no peace.
Haaretz said he and likeminded hardliners reflect "contempt for Israel's laws and norms coupled with provocative behavior toward the international community."
Netanyahu's earlier Likud Party platform said the following about Palestinian self-determination:
Unilaterally establishing a Palestinian state "will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration."
Likud's platform discussed settlements as follows:
"The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (all Occupied Palestine) are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel."