JUNE 13, 2008 – There’s an editorial article in this week’s Middle East Times that raises the idea of Jerusalem with, “No walls, no barriers, but a unique Jerusalem governance that alternates between a Palestinian mayor one term and an Israeli mayor the next… The city’s governing body would be comprised of an equal number of Palestinian and Israeli city council members.” They add, “perhaps the key to peace is in uniting rather than dividing the holy city.”
Here’s what they had to say:
Indeed, for the Palestinians, the thought of an indivisible Jerusalem is unacceptable, because a united Jewish Jerusalem under Israeli control deprives them of their capital city – which also happens to be home to the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third-holiest site. As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stated, a Palestinian state without (East) Jerusalem as its capital, is totally unacceptable to the Palestinians.
And of course, just as unacceptable to the Israelis is the idea of a divided Jerusalem, the city that is Judaism’s holiest.
So, to divide or not to divide? There may yet be a solution to the conundrum.
“Ideally, rather than dividing Jerusalem, the Palestinians and Israelis should use the city jointly,” suggests Charles Henderson, an author familiar with the Middle East.
“No walls, no barriers, but a unique Jerusalem governance that alternates between a Palestinian mayor one term and an Israeli mayor the next,” suggests Henderson. The city’s governing body would be comprised of an equal number of Palestinian and Israeli city council members.”
Seeing that Christians, Muslims and Jews have been fighting over Jerusalem for several centuries, perhaps the key to peace is in uniting rather than dividing the holy city.
In principle, the idea makes much sense, a united city where Arabs and Israelis, Christians, Muslims and Jews can all live together, would after all live up to the teachings of the three monolithic religions.
However, before this dream can become a reality the walls of hatred and mistrust that separate Palestinians and Israelis need to come down before any of the physical walls erected for security reasons are dismantled. And the walls of hate are thicker the stones of the Temple Mount.
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