Whose Jerusalem ?

Whose Jerusalem ?

Whose Land ?


by Nadia Matar, The Jerusalem Post, Friday, September 30, 1994

"Jerusalem will always be the eternal and undivided capital of Israel."

So says Prime Minister Rabin on many occasions. These are beautiful words meant to reassure us. Unfortunately, the facts on the ground are quite different. With this statement, Rabin and his government want to lull us into a false sense of security. But in reality, Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem is becoming weaker.

Orient House in Jerusalem has become the epicenter of the Palestinian state. Visiting heads of State to the capital are forced to replace the Israeli flag on their official car with the PLO flag when approaching the Mandelbaum Gate. Press cards, bearing the legend "State of Palestine" are issued from Orient House. The Palestinian Police act freely in Jerusalem with Orient House as their headquarters. All this with the tacit approval of the Rabin government.

Conferences are held in Jerusalem on the future of the city. Stalwarts of Rabin's own coalition such as Eli Dayan, Haggai Merom, Ran Cohen, Yael Dayan, Naomi Chazan, Avraham Burg, Dedi Zucker, Ephraim Sneh and Yoel Singer were scheduled to participate in a "secret" conference In June to discuss six plans on how to redivide Jerusalem! How to do this was to be discussed with Hanan Ashrawi, Faisal Husseini, Nabil Sha'ath, Elias Freij, Haider Abdul Shafi et al. (Jerusalem Best Second Choice Conference, Tantur Ecumenical Institute, June 24-25, 1994). Because of the publicity, some of the MKs did not attend, but the conference still took place. All of this while Rabin mouths platitudes about the indivisibility of Jerusalem!

Another example of the government's acquiescence to letting the city be redivided, is the lack of adequate police protection for Jews in sensitive areas, such as the Old City, the US Consulate, the Mount of Olives cemetery etc., while Arabs can and do walk freely everywhere.

In addition, the government, through its police force, tries to actively deny Jews free access to their won city. In order to observe the age old custom of walking around the Old City walls on Tisha B'Av eve, an appeal had to be made to the High Court to establish what would seem a self-evident right of Jews: to walk freely and without restriction in our "eternal and undivided capital." Even though the court's ruling was a victory for the appellants, the very fact that such an appeal had to be made, showed the hypocrisy of the government's pronouncements.

One of Rabin's pre-election promises was that Jerusalem would not be discussed at all. He also said that "whoever even thinks about going down from the Golan, endangers the security of Israel." Now Rabin tells us that "Jerusalem is worth 10 Golan Heights." Knowing that Jerusalem is already slipping from our grasp, because of Rabin's connivance, such a pronouncement send shivers down one's spine.

By signing the Oslo Accord, Rabin broke all his pre-election promises to the people of Israel. In addition to his promise not to relinquish the Golan and not to even discuss Jerusalem he also promised not to negotiate with the PLO and not to permit the creation of a Palestinian State. By breaking his promises, Rabin is bringing us back to the 1967 borders, the so-called Green Line - what even Abba Eban termed "the Aushwitz borders."

Not only does the Oslo Accord endanger Israel physically by bringing the murderers into our own backyard, but by signing away our historic heartland the government undermines our claim to any part of Israel.

Any solution to the Arab-Israel conflict must be based on the axiom that if we have no right to historic Katzrin on the Golan, Shechem, Hebron and the Temple Mount, then we certainly have no right to Tel Aviv and Haifa. In Ben Gurion's famous words: "The Bible is our mandate."

As the people realize the depth of Rabin's betrayal and how dangerous his policies are for Israel's very survival, opposition to the government is steadily increasing. The government realizes that it has lost the support of the Jewish majority. In order to hide this fact it tries to brutally suppress any dissent.

It started with an attempt to frighten and discourage demonstrators by close-up filming of individuals (for police files?); it progressed to brutal beatings and illegal arrests at legal demonstrations. It has now culminated in administrative detention of political opponents (imprisonment without charges for unlimited time) and inhumane physical and mental torture of Jewish suspects.

Am Yisrael is slowly reaching its limit of tolerance to the lies and deception of the last two years. No government of a supposedly democratic state can afford to deny its citizens their civil rights and their freedom of speech. Sooner or later there is bound to be an explosion. The Jewish people will not allow themselves to be led to the slaughter once again.

Nadia Matar is the co-chair of Women For Israel's Tomorrow.

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