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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Indyk: No solution to Jerusalem sovereignty dispute

Former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk has apparently had an epiphany. Well, a little one anyway. Speaking yesterday to the Jerusalem Conference, a city-sponsored event aimed at boosting Jerusalem's economy, Indyk said: "In the Middle East and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular some problems do not have solutions. You should leave well enough alone."

If that quote could be attributed to our entire current situation, it would be correct. But Indyk was referring to the problem of sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Six years ago next month
at Camp David, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak attempted to give Yasser Arafat sovereignty over the 'Temple Mount's surface' along with 95% of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, and Arafat turned him down.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Indyk said it was a mistake to try to solve the question of sovereignty over Jerusalem's holy sites, noting that it opened a Pandora's box which could not be bridged:

"Israel cannot accept Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and the Muslims cannot accept Jewish sovereignty over Haram el Sharif, and they just happen to be the same place."

Indyk recounted how Arafat even refused to recognize that the Temple Mount was the site of the two Biblical Jewish temples, infuriating the US administration. But he noted that it was a myth that Jerusalem was the "undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people," pointing out that in reality Jerusalem has been a shared city on a religious level since Israel gained control over east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War. In other words, because we didn't destroy every church and mosque in the city like the Jordanians destroyed every synagogue in the city in 1948, we don't deserve to control the entire city? And if the 'Palestinians' were to gain control of the city (R"L - God forbid) and destroy every Jewish site in the city (as the 'Jordanians' did), they would then deserve to control the entire city? How absurd!

Indyk also said that no US president would ever move the US embassy to Jerusalem except as part of a final peace agreement with the 'Palestinians', and, repeat pre-election pledges notwithstanding, it was unrealistic to expect such a move. He may be right on that score. Unfortunately. He suggested that the US embassy could be moved to Jerusalem in the future if the 'Palestinians' declare a provisional capital in the east Jerusalem areas that Israel cedes. In other words, this will never happen. The 'Palestinians' will never accept any solution with which Israel can live (because their real and unchanging aim is to drive the Jews into the sea, as it has been since the Arabs started arriving in Israel) and since separating from them unilaterally is an unmitigated disaster (see "Gaza"), for the time being at least, we would be best off acknowledging that, "In the Middle East and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular some problems do not have solutions. You should leave well enough alone." Now if only we could convince the Israeli government of that, and if only we could convince Martin Indyk that it's true of much more than the Temple Mount.


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

As I told a friend yesterday, the only thing Israel can hope for is a temporary detante, after showing it is a force to be reckoned with.

There is no cycle of violence. It is in fact the opposite.

The Palestinians commit violence, and when Israel reacts with strength, the Palestinians stop. It is only when the Israelis back down and pussyfoot that the violence escalates.

I am so sick of the lie "cycle of violence."


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