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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Jerusalem syndrome

There's a well-known syndrome called Jerusalem Syndrome. In a nutshell, it describes people who show up here and believe that they're the Messiah.

There's another kind of Jerusalem Syndrome. It involves people who are obsessed with the idea that they can 'solve' the contentious problems that divide our city. Another example was published in the Vancouver Sun over the weekend.
The 144-page report describes the fate of the district as "one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." It says that any solution must respect the "profound symbolic needs embodied in the Old City" and reflect the interests of "Israelis and Palestinians and believers across the world."

Detailed governance and security arrangements under the joint Israeli-Palestinian regime are laid out in the report, which concludes that the "charged history" of the Old City requires fresh thinking and new solutions to bring an end to the dispute.

The Old City is "a microcosm" of the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "encompassing political, demographic, security, economic, social, religious, territorial and environmental elements," the proposal states. "The search for a solution to the conflict is complicated by the systemic distrust that exists between the sides, in particular with respect to holy sites."

The single hottest flashpoint in the Old City is the holy place known as Temple Mount to Jews and Haram al-Sharif -- site of the sacred Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque -- to Muslims. The area, the scene of violent clashes in 2007, is described in the report as "physically overlapping and indivisible," its key sites deemed "powerful religious, cultural and emotional symbols that must be administered with fairness and equity."

The Western Wall, often called the Wailing Wall, is another Old City site with rich historical associations for the world's Jewish people.

The key Christian site within old Jerusalem's stone walls is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre -- a major landmark thought to be the site of Christ's Crucifixion.

The proposal emphasizes the need for a workable alternative to the geographical division of the Old City, exclusive control by either Israel or Palestine, or the creation of a separate international authority to oversee the Old City -- ideas that have all failed to attract adequate support from both sides in the past.
I have three comments.

First, the 'Palestinians' have already turned down control over all parts of the Old City except for the Jewish Quarter, complete with control over the Temple Mount but not over what's underneath it. Why does anyone think they would accept this proposal which is clearly less?

Second, since 1967, all religions' adherents have had access to their holy sites in Jerusalem (with the exception of consistent Jewish access to the Temple Mount). What is wrong with the current arrangement? By contrast, from 1948-67, when the Jordanians controlled the Old City (and there was no such thing as a 'Palestinian'), Jews did not have access to their holy sites or to the Jewish Quarter.

Third, there's one thing that has to happen for there to be peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians' and their Arab patrons: The 'Palestinians' and the Arab countries have to recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist in the Land of Israel. When that happens, there will be peace. But that has never happened, and it probably never will.

Stop wasting your time and taxpayer money.


At 10:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its amusing how people who know nothing about Jerusalem and the lives of the real people living there can presume to solve all their problems better they can solve it themselves.

Inherent in the "Jerusalem Syndrome" is a lack of humility about the city and a refusal to comprehend that re-dividing it again will lead to disaster and not to real peace in the Middle East.

In short, no one on earth can bring about only what can happen when the Messiah finally shows up. And that could take a very, very, very long time to happen, indeed.


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