I was asked why I could not see the city of Jerusalem being divided. I said that the Western Wall is right next to the Dome of the Rock. I have exact measurements to verify that claim. Both the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock lay on Temple Mount, and all of Temple Mount is 40 acres. So I ask, can an international boundary be place within a medieval urban environment of just 40 acres?
The place was divided for about 20 years. All you need is the Jordanian army to enforce the separation.
The Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty of 1994, specifically states that each countries will not enter each others territory without permission. So Jordan would have breach that treaty, to attack Jerusalem. The way that could happen is if KIng Abdullah of Jordan was to declare the treaty void, which seems highly unlikely since he has been the strongest supporter of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. If the King was overthrown by the Arab Spring movement, the pressure would not be to overthrow the King, but to have in his government a cabinet and parliament, which Jordan does not have. Jordan renounced all claim to the West Bank in 1988, so Jordan is not trying to claim the West Bank, they way that Egypt wanted back the Sinai, or Syria wants back the Golan Heights. The West Bank now is an issue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, but with Jordan renouncing claim to these areas in 1988, and with the peace treaty with Israel in 1994, it is pretty much out of the picture.
My comment about the Jordanian army was a little bit joking. But I did mean, the city could be successfully divided, if a suitable agreement was negotiated.
Egypt wanted back the Sinai, and Syria wants back the Golan Heights, because those areas are traditionally a part of those countries. Abdullah of Jordan took the West Bank as part of a corrupt deal with Israel. King Abdullah knew full well neither he nor Israel had any business to be anywhere near Jerusalem or the West Bank. The one useful thing Abdullah did was fix the dome of the Dome of the Rock, and it cost him a truckload of money.
No peace deal of any kind will be permanent until the refugee issue is solved to the satisfaction of all Palestinian refugees. All else – Jerusalem and borders – is secondary to the issue of the refugees – who need to be consulted directly – not through the PA, who might, or might not represent them, depending on what mood the PA happens to be in. Israel needs to request an elected representative from every refugee camp to engage in direct negatiations - if you want long-term peace.
Palestinian elections will be held in May. There are many factions, which is why the Camp David Accord under President Clinton collapsed. Hamas is showing signs of becoming a phenomenon of the past, which hopefully will mean that Al Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas will be the spokesperson to negotiate with Israel. As for breaking down to the level of refugee camps, that would be more fractious. I do not think the Palestinians will have no alternative but to accept Abbas as the spokesperson. If the West Bank can be organized into a contiguous entity, so that way a viable economy can be created then that will be the hope of the Palestinians. But is it like the Armenians claiming they want all of historic Armenia, how much of present-day Turkey would that include? We cannot negate the past, not us, the Palestinians, nor the Armenians. The only thing we can build upon is the future. So have it a future with a Palestinian nation-state.
you see palestinians still dont see it as the past, this is the thing they still see them selves living in Haifa nad Yafo and all the land of Palestine and what enforces this view point is the taking of land by force until this day in Hebron, the lands near Ma'ale Adumim, Tor, silwan and the list keeps going bigger and bigger, which gives the palestinians a look that they are still living the same range of time so to them they only are claiming what they lost now
This is what I mentioned in Shimon Peres' Facebook, that both Israelis and Palestinians can commemorate the past, but they cannot be obsessed with it, and are they ever obsessed with it too. When you mention areas in the West Bank, these will have to become part of a contiguous entity, for the West Bank to become part of a nation-state. Because the only answer, is a two-state solution. So Yad Vashem will have to be just a memorial, and not the guiding policy of the State of Israel. Palestinians will have to look at places such as Yafo in the same light. Because if there is this yearning of making the past guiding policy, it will just feed more into the conflict.
you didnt read what i said the palestinians are not trying to commemorate the past, they are living the moment ,i mean their lands are being taken as we speak here now . at this exact moment you are reading my lines.
The Palestinian constituency will be voting in May. The individuals will be voting for who they want. It is hoped that they will be voting for Al Fatah, because this seems to be the party most in contact with reality. If they can regain control over Gaza from Hamas -- because their leaders have either resigned or announced that they will not seek re-election -- then this creates a united Palestinian voice. Because of the rival between Hamas and Al Fatah, both Prime Ministers Sharon and Barack, said there is no negotiating partner. If Al Fatah become the sole spokesperson, without Hamas, then what can Israel say is the reason now? Israel have its rivals too, because Shimon Peres is saying one thing, and Netanyahu is saying another. But if there is a united Palestinian voice, then this can really place the pressure on Israel. The closet we get to right now, of a mediator over this, is King Abdullah of Jordan. Hopefully, he will invite them back to Amman, to resume negotiations. If negotiations resumed, then Israel will be confronted over the issue of land in the West Bank. For there to be a two-state solution, the settlers will either have to return back to the pre-1967 borders or stay and become citizens of Palestine. I realize it is a lengthy process, but I have contacted my elected representative to sign the Cohen-Yarmouth-Connolly letter, calling on President Obama to make the two-state solution top priority of U.S. foreign policy. If the letter is passed by the U.S. Congress, and signed by President Obama, then it will be U.S. law for the two-state solution to be enacted. So the situation you are addressing is being met, and I cannot guarantee when results will be making themselves visible.
Prime Ministers Sharon and Barack said there was no negotiating partner because they had no intention of ever negotiating, and wanted to make it look like it was the Palestinians' fault there were no negotiations. At the end of WW2, there was no negotiating partner to represent Germany (or Japan) , and yet a settlement was reached – so you see, there is no need for a partner, only a willingness to make good decisions.
Tim, you focus too much on the potential failings of Palestinian leaders. Even the most brilliant Palestinian leader – the most amazing Ghandi or Mandela – would NOT have been able to negotiate a settlement because Israel would either have refused to negotiate, or would has assassinated the (Palestinian) leader, as they did with the UN’s negotiator, Count Bernadotte. Arafat only survived because he was too slippery to catch. The others say nothing of consequence, as a way to pass the time, whilst enjoying the luxury of the life of a leader.
Any Palestinian - or Israeli - could negotiate a settlement, if the necessary willingness on behalf of Israel - was present. The lack of good will from Israel has been a far greater stumbling block than the worst of Arafat’s corruption.
Dwell on what you can contribute, rather than what your enemy should do, and then you are exonerated, no matter what happens. Tim, I appreciate the way you are attempting to get the USA to contribute in a positive manner and I wish you all the best with the Cohen-Yarmouth-Connolly letter, but am somewhat sceptical about the chances of Congress passing such an act.
See the discussion under "Will Jerusalem Cause another Intifadah" for a full explanation re the difficulties of ever dividing up Jerusalem again.
A few other points: The Golan Heights had once been in Jewish hands according to ancient literature. It will never be returned to Syria as fighting for it in 1948 and in two subsequent wars caused too much hardship on Israeli military forces. Israel cannot allow hostile forces to command The Golan. If you were to visit, you would see disembowelled Israeli tanks and monuments to Israeli fallen heroes. In this way, Israelis are not allowed to forget what not commanding The Golan would mean to them. The Druse who reside in The Golan, unlike the Druse who reside elsewhere in Israel, remain sympathetic to Syria (at least before the most recent outbreak of the massacre of Syrian citizens by the Syrian government). I don't know why that is, Sussan. But were you to tour The Golan, you would see that besides an Israeli military presence, there is an amazing growth of beneficial agricultural products, i.e., bananas, as well as domesticated animals, i.e., cows. There is also one little village completely dedicated to art and artistic enterprises and several kibbutzim dedicated to tourism. I expect, in time, that with the growth of the Israeli population that The Golan will become a serious place to reside for young Israeli families.
I know the Golan Heights very well, and the last time I was there, I was taken to an auditorium to see a presentation on why they should stay in Israeli hands. The only thing to take into consideration is that when there is bilateral negotiations between Israel and Syria, Syria will demand them back. So you can say we will worry about that when the time comes. But we must get the issue about Jerusalem off the table. This time I will mentioned about distances in the Old City, and next time I will mention about the prospects of internationalizing Jerusalem. So I will look forward to your response. These issues have to be take a step at a time.
Since the UN the US and the EU all say the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, it can be assumed that the Golan Heights will eventually be returned to Syria. No amount of persuasive propaganda can prevent this ultimate return. You forget how small the population of Israel is compared to the population of the world.
If the UN does not eventually insist on the kind of actions that would lead to Golan Heights – and other issues – being resolved in an ethical manner, the UN will become defunct, and funding would cease.
I cannot see the UN being willing to write itself out of history.