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Don’t Divide Jerusalem


This page from Yaacov Lozowick’s blog is being published here with his permission.

On this page I’ve brought together the various things I’ve written over the past few years explaining – and more importantly, demonstrating – why the idea of dividing Jerusalem is so mistaken. Not only will it not bring peace; the common denominator to all the alternative plans for dividing the city is that they’ll probably make things considerably worse. Dividing Jerusalem will actively promote violence.

One of the earliest posts I wrote presented the geographical and historical contexts for the present city. Then I outlined the nine logical outcomes of dividing Jerusalem; only one of them is positive, and it’s highly unlikely to happen. I also published a much shortened version in The Forward.

Having laid out the principles, I then began walking around the city, mostly along the putative line of division, taking pictures or making amateurish films. I can’t say why I’m the only one around who seems to be doing this, and it’s actually something of a scandal.

The border at Jaffa Gate
Mamila, right in front of Jaffa Gate
The impossible border through the Old City
Here’s another one from the Old City: The Armenian Quarter
And also the Maronites in Jerusalem, still in the Old City

Outside the Old City, we’ve got the north side of Abu Tor
Abu Tor seen up close: Asael Street

North of the Old City, here’s a detailed description of the Shepherd Hotel area.
At the southern end of town, here’s a discussion of Har Homa.
Oddest of all, here’s the curious case of Beit Safafa.

Then there’s the matter of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem who don’t actually want to be in Palestine at all. I’ve written a bit about this here, and also here.

14 replies »

  1. Interesting, but I doubt this article belongs on CiFWatch.

    I admit I didn’t read the whole 9 scenarios, but I can’t imagine a scenario where keeping the Muslim neighborhoods with half a million Palestinians could possibly be beneficial to Israel.

    Even if popular opinion among them is to stay in Israel, which I severally doubt, why would WE want them? To keep paying social security for an anti-Zionist population? Keep the old city and the holy basin- fine. But the rest?

  2. Bar Ilan University political scientist Dr. Mordechai Kedar: “Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once. You can’t rewrite the Koran on air on Al Jazeera.”

    Islam has a habit of usurping holy sites of other culture’s they invade. Its all a part of bedding in.

  3. Dividing up Jerusalem once again would be madness. The city has been united for 44 years under Israeli jurisdiction and if it works, why fix it?
    Jordan held it illegally for 19 years and no longer claims it. The Palestinian Arabs never had it before.

    There is also the wider problem of the future borders between Israel and the new Palestine state. It should be pointed out to the world that whatever is going to be fixed and voted at the UN won’t be carved in stone. Israel has legitimate concerns about the long-term intentions of the Palestinians – not to mention their Arab neighours. In the event of a future Arab-Israeli war started by the Palestinians, these borders will have to be adjusted once more. Blame the British and the French who divided up former Ottoman lands in the first place…

    PS. Nice reporting, Yaakov.

    • Suree Tebboth

      Like the policing of the Syrian and Lebanese border and the Rafah crossing. Not to speak about the pulling out of the UN forces from the Sinai in 1967 and other theatres like the abandonment of the Serebrican victims for the now defunct Mladic.

      What can I say…. Huge successes aren’t they?

  4. ‘Dividing up Jerusalem once again would be madness. The city has been united for 44 years under Israeli jurisdiction and if it works, why fix it?’

    Because you don’t want to have an Arab majority in Jewish Jerusalem, for a start. Dividing it is the only way, old and new. Otherwise you risk losing all of it.

    Your rejecting partition resembles the mistake Palestinian Arabs made in 1947.

  5. I don’t live in Israel, Zkharya – neither do you, ( correct me if I’m wrong ) so I was merely expressing a personal opinion which is held by most Israelis. Not having the vote, I have no direct say on the matter.

    East Jerusalem was more Jewish than Arab until the Jordanians
    ethnically cleansed the Jewish inhabitants in 1948. I don’t accept that the Palestinians should demand it as their capital city for obviously political motives, when Ramallah would be less contentious and make far more sense.
    I also don’t want the Arabs controlling access to the Western Wall.
    I want to see a Jewish and Christian majority in East Jerusalem, as it used to be.

    Jerusalem under Israeli jurisdiction allows freedom for all religions, whereas if East Jerusalem became the Palestinian capital, non-Muslims ( especially Jews ) would be seriously restricted.

    Ultimately, the problem of Jerusalem will be resolved when the new Palestinian state demonstrates its political maturity and desire to live peacefully alongside Israel. We’re still a long way away from all that…