JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir today said he will not compromise on his demand for all Jerusalem, including predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem, to remain Israel's capital just to give a positive answer to U.S. proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
Shamir's statement, in a nationally broadcast speech to leaders of his right-wing Likud bloc, lessened the already remote chance that Likud's coalition with the center-left Labor Party could be reconstructed.
Labor leader Shimon Peres, the outgoing vice premier, suggested he would win a showdown in the Knesset (Parliament) on the peace issue, saying there is a "clear majority" in favor of going ahead with the U.S.-backed proposals.
"I think we have more than a fair chance to continue and start a dialogue with the Palestinians. This is the real topic on the agenda . . . ," he said.
Shamir also met today with rivals within Likud to strengthen his hand before a vote on a Labor-sponsored motion of no confidence Thursday that could end his leadership of the government.