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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Olmert announces he will divide Jerusalem

Back in August, when sexual predator Chaim Ramon proposed dividing Jerusalem, I argued that he was a stalking horse for Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, floating trial balloons that Olmert could not yet float that would eventually become policy, much as Olmert himself used to do for Ariel Sharon. Today, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Olmert confirms that his betrayal of Jerusalem is complete.
Israel needs to internalize that even its supportive friends on the international stage conceive of the country's future on the basis of the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem divided, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared to The Jerusalem Post.


In an interview at the start of a year that he hopes will yield a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, the prime minister said many rival Israeli political parties remain "detached from the reality" that requires Israel to compromise "on parts of Eretz Yisrael" in order to maintain its Jewish, democratic nature.

If Israel "will have to deal with a reality of one state for two peoples," he said, this "could bring about the end of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. That is a danger one cannot deny; it exists, and is even realistic."

Indeed, his primary responsibility as prime minister, Olmert said, lay in ensuring a separation from the Palestinians.

"What will be if we don't want to separate?" he asked rhetorically. "Will we live eternally in a confused reality where 50 percent of the population or more are residents but not equal citizens who have the right to vote like us? My job as prime minister, more than anything else, is to ensure that doesn't happen."

The reality in which Israel was seeking an accommodation, he elaborated, includes a situation in which even "the world that is friendly to Israel... that really supports Israel, when it speaks of the future, it speaks of Israel in terms of the '67 borders. It speaks of the division of Jerusalem."
Do I need to list the reasons Olmert is wrong?

1. Dividing Jerusalem will endanger Jerusalem's Jewish majority.

2. Ehud Barak tried to divide Jerusalem in 2000. He failed. Had he succeeded, there would have been a lot more Jews under fire in Jerusalem during the Oslo War.

3. Regardless of what Israel gives up in Jerusalem, it will never be enough. The 'Palestinians' insist on dismantling the Israeli neighborhoods that have been built in Jerusalem since 1967 and on full control of the Temple Mount.

More on a possible division of Jerusalem (God forbid) here, here, here, here, here, and for the really ambitious, here.


At 5:42 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

G-d punished Sharon. Olmert can't see he will face the same fate if he gives up Eretz Israel and tries to divide Jerusalem? He may want to please the nations but no Jew can disobey G-d. Unless he is a fool who has no fear of Him.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger witness said...

This really bothers me - Jerusalem should not be given to those animals. Land for peace - as far as Israel goes - has never worked and will never work.

I really wish Israel would tell the world (and the US) to stuff it and take care of their own!

I have heard since the last war that the people of Israel want Olmert out of office and he has refused to leave. Can the Israeli people not do something about this?

Israel - you are in my prayers!

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Is that interview as ambiguous and (deliberately) unclear to an Israeli audience as it is to me?

Because it doesn't sound to me like he's being at all clear about how much of Jerusalem he plans to give up. On the one hand, he's going on about how Israelis have to accept a divided Jerusalem and how the rest of the world thinks in terms of the pre-1967 borders and Israel has to go along with that. On the other hand, he's taking Har Homa and the other place (Adumim) to be indivisible parts of Jerusalem. So what does this mean? I mean, what would this division even look like?

Now, this could easily just be my ignorance about the neighborhoods in question, but I wonder: Does this convey to the Israeli a clear view of what Olmert is proposing, or does it just sound like he's trying to be unclear and confusing until the last minute when he springs some shocking concrete plan for the division of Jerusalem on the Israeli people?

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


Olmert is trying to say that he will give up the predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem while keeping the predominantly Jewish ones. Maaleh Adumim is technically outside Jerusalem's boundaries (the famous E-1 lies between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim), but Har Homa is well within them.

The problem with Olmert's 'plan' is that the result would be a crazy quilt that would have people constantly passing from one sector to the other (imagine the checkpoints we would need to prevent terror attacks) or the most massive and ugly network of tunnels and bridges you could ever imagine. And it would leave many more Jewish neighborhoods in the same position that Gilo was in (easy gunshot distance from Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala) in 2000-02.

And he's not discussing the Old City, because the 'Palestinians' want control of the Temple Mount and that's one of the few things that might get Israelis to hit the street.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

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At 7:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

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At 7:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - exactly. Its impossible to do because you have to disentangle a lot of people and put them somewhere.

And Abbas' proposal is to make East Jerusalem "judenrein" by cleansing it of its Jewish neighborhoods. He wants the Jews removed too from the Old City. And that is the proposal from a "moderate" Palestinian leader.

I don't think Olmert has any idea where to begin to make it happen. Dividing up Jerusalem is a non-starter because of the logistical, human and strategic complications involved in doing it, never mind the politics. Its not as simple as taking a pen to a map and drawing an arbitrary dividing line somewhere. Olmert has no idea, I suspect, as to what he's talking about.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The biggest obstacle, ironically enough to Olmert's plan to divide Jerusalem would come from the City's Arabs. They may loathe Israel but they don't want to live under PA rule. I suspect if the issue was put up in a referendum, the partition idea would lose overwhelmingly. And not by any means only from the city's Jewish inhabitants as might be expected at first glance.

See more here from Daniel Pipes today:

Palestinians Who Prefer Israel

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Olmert is just a mess.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Olmert is evil.

We, the people of Israel, are the mess.


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