JERUSALEM, Israel -- Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat SAID the Holy City must remain united under Israeli sovereignty.
Barkat told the Associated Press that Israel's capital would "never function" as a divided city.
"It will never work. It's a bad deal," he said. "Doing a bad deal is worse than no deal."
Barkat, who hopes to win a second five-year term in municipal elections in October, said Jerusalem must go "back to its roots" to rediscover what makes it so special.
"Jerusalem of 3,000 years ago was not divided into tribes," he explained. "All people that came to worship...at the Temple felt that Jerusalem belonged to them as much as it belongs to everyone else. And that feeling created a very special atmosphere of belonging."
"There is only one way this city can function -- it is a united city that all residents and visitors are treated honestly and equally," the mayor said. "It is the only model."
The Palestinian Authority wants to divide the city and make east Jerusalem the capital of its future state.