Powered by WebAds

Monday, October 04, 2010

Arab Jerusalemites oppose dividing Jerusalem

Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes that most Arab residents of Jerusalem oppose dividing the city between Israel and the 'Palestinian Authority' or Hamas.
Both Israeli and Palestinian negotiators need to take into account that it's completely unrealistic to talk about restoring the pre-1967 situation where Jerusalem was divided into two cities.

The division was bad for Jews and Arabs back then and it will be worse if it happens once again.

Jerusalem is a very small city where Jews and Arabs live across the street from each other and on top of each other. Since 1967, Israel has built many new neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city, rendering it impossible to imagine a reality where Jerusalem would exist as a divided city.

Redividing Jerusalem will turn the lives of both Jews and Arabs into a nightmare, especially with regards to traffic arrangements. Every day, tens of thousands of Jews and Arabs commute between the two parts of the city freely.

Redividing Jerusalem will result in the establishment of checkpoints and border crossings inside many parts of the city. Jews and Arabs will find themselves confined to their homes and neighborhoods, which will be surrounded by security barriers and checkpoints.

In addition, the negotiators must concede the possibility of asking the Arab residents of the city about their preferences. There is no reason why more than 200,000 Arabs in Jerusalem should be denied the right to voice their opinion on a matter that has a direct affect on their lives and future.

This can be done through a referendum where the Arab residents would be asked if they would like to live in a divided city under the rule of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. Most likely, a majority of the Arab residents would say that they prefer the status quo to the other options.
You can all guess some of the reasons why. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that the wishes of the Arab residents of the city will be taken into consideration. After all, there's a fierce moral urgency for the establishment of a 'Palestinian state' whose capital is in 'east' Jerusalem.

What could go wrong?

The picture at the top is the Mandelbaum Gate - the former access point between the two sides of the city. It was taken in 1956.


At 2:28 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Still - the entire people of the city would have to be consulted about such a preference and if a referendum on dividing it was held, the notion would be shot down.

Where would one draw a hypothetical border? Two countries sharing the same capital is a far-fetched fantasy. It has never happened in history and for good reason. And it won't happen in Jerusalem.


Post a Comment

<< Home