JERUSALEM, Israel - On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called for the division of Jerusalem and a return to the 1967 borders.
The declaration marked the first time an Israeli leader called so clearly for a return to the borders before the Six Day War.
Olmert's call came during a speech before Israel's parliament in honor of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The speech marked the thirteenth anniversary of Rabin's assassination.
Olmert said the "moment of truth" had arrived and declared, "If we want to keep Israel Jewish and democratic, we need to give up parts of the homeland we have dreamed about for generations and in our prayers, even Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and to return to a 1967 Israel with certain amendments."
He added, "Every government must tell the truth and this truth will unfortunately make us divide many parts of the homeland, in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."
Several leaders left the Knesset in protest saying a failed prime minister under investigation should not be calling for the destruction of the Jewish settlement enterprise in Israel.
Ironically, Olmert served for years as Jerusalem's mayor when he regularly declared Jerusalem would never be divided.
On Tuesday, voters will decide who will be the city's next mayor and in less than three months Israel holds national elections when the fate of the city will be one of the major campaign issues.