By Ted Belman. - IsraPundit.com - June 2, 2006
For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been at the center of the Jewish religion with or without our holy Temple and Jews have prayed to Jerusalem, promising or hoping “Next Year in Jerusalem”
This hope became a reality, or almost a reality, in 1947 when the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181 otherwise known as the Partition Plan. It provided in part,
Part III. - City of Jerusalem
A. SPECIAL REGIME
The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.
B. BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY
The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, ‘Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern Shu’fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map (annex B).
It is instructive to read this very extensive plan to understand the thinking of the UN even today but my concern today is Jerusalem.
In 1967, after a defensive war, Israel conquered the land denied them in the Partition Plan, including Jerusalem.
The UN after much debate, passed Resolution 242 which strangely was silent on the disposition of Jerusalem but did require Israel to withdraw from occupied territories to secure and recognized borders. Israel quickly annexed Jerusalem but the world community, including US, refused to recognize the annexation. The world including the Vatican still called for Jerusalem to be an international city. As a result just a couple of countries have located their embassies there.
The Declaration of Principles at Oslo in 1993 lead to the Interim Agreement, ‘05neither of which made mention of a Palestinian state much less assured it. But they did provide for elections to the Palestine National Council being formed,
“Palestinians of Jerusalem who live there may participate in the election process in accordance with the provisions contained …).“
It also provided that Jerusalem would be dealt with in final status talks. According to Dore Gold in Jerusalem in International Diplomacy, Jerusalem was a major stumbling block to reaching an agreement at Camp David.
The Roadmap that came into existence in 2003 though it promised a Palestinian state, subject to certain pre-conditions, was silent on the disposition of Jerusalem other then to say it must be dealt with in the final agreement.
Since the ’67 War and until recently, Israel was adamant that Jerusalem was to remain the undivided capital of Israel. Lately, Israel has begun to consider excluding Arab East Jerusalem from the boundaries of its “undivided” capital. Israel is moving from the slogan to the reality. Much as Israel would love to keep it all, it would also like to not extend citizenship to the 250,000 Arabs living there.
Haaretz in today’s editorial, Hypocrisy in Jerusalem discusses the problem including Israel’s inconsistent conduct and concludes,
”Israel is having trouble formulating a logical and consistent stance with regard to East Jerusalem, and therefore it has been taking inconsistent and hypocritical steps. The decision to allow East Jerusalem residents to participate in the PA elections is part of this same duality. East Jerusalem’s residents live here, vote for the PA and are citizens of Jordan. Instead of removing Palestinian parliamentarians from the eastern part of the city, it would be better to remove East Jerusalem from the State of Israel and transfer it to the Palestinian Authority.”
Finally, Roni Aloni-Sadovnik argues in YNET that Dividing Jerusalem won’t bring peace. Her conclusion is that
‘United city must be divided into administrative districts”
Such a model could allow the city to remain united for ever with regard to municipal services and a regional municipality, in which Arab Jerusalemites would retain their Jordanian or Palestinian connections, and Israelis would retain their connection to Israel. The everyday running of the city would not be connected to any nationality.
Dividing the city into four quarters, each of whom conducts its affairs independently, is an answer that would allow the city to remain physically united but would separate the two national groups into two sovereignties.
Metropolitan Jerusalem would include Abu Dis, A-Zaim and Azariya, but these areas would be designated neighborhoods whose residents maintain their national connections to Palestine or Jordan.
Including all these areas into metropolitan Jerusalem will mean joining them together under one administrative roof, together with Mevasseret Tzion, Nataf, Gevaot, Maaleh Adumim, Jerusalem-area kibbutzim and moshavim and other towns. We could neutralize opposition to these annexations by declaring each town its own administrative district, and by giving economic independence to each neighborhood.
While contemplating her ideas, please note that she doesn’t deal with the idea of sovereignty or applicable law. She focuses on matters of administration. But her proposal does solve the demographic problem. Her proposal is premised on the creation of Palestine and the desire not to divide Jerusalem.
Unfortunately we are back to square one. Palestine won’t be created for decades if ever and we have to deal with Jerusalem in the interim.