Skip to main content

"Next Year in Jerusalem." This phrase ends Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, accompanied by a long blow of the shofar (ram’s horn). So too ends the seder, the at-home service that is the heart of the commemoration of Passover approximately 6 months later. These two liturgical final words at opposite ends of the calendar, in place for close to 2,000 years, are prime examples of why, whatever the other issues, a successful Israeli-Palestinian negotiation leading to a two-state solution will not, and should not, include a division of Jerusalem. Jews will never willingly turn "Next Year in Jerusalem" into a question. The "status of Jerusalem" is not like issues of border location, or security, or resource sharing, or legitimate grievances of displaced residents. Nor is the division of Jerusalem into two cities either geographically or politically doable. The Palestinian Authority and officials of the Obama administration and other governments supporting peace talks must understand: for Israelis and Jews in general, Jerusalem is, simply put, different.

Almost a year ago, I published a diary, "My One-State, Jewish State, Palestinian State Solution," which proposed what I thought was an ideal solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that provided the most benefit for all sides. As with most such ideal solutions, it bears no relationship to the political reality either before or since. Instead, we are in the middle of the latest effort to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work out a two-state solution, and many of the usual issues on all sides are getting in the way.

Successful negotiations involve both compromise and a recognition that each party has positions from which it either cannot or will not move. Good faith negotiations that lead to agreement acknowledge the existence of those non-negotiable issues, and establish mechanisms for accepting and working with them. This is as true for geopolitical affairs as it is for business contracts.

In the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, progress and eventual success require that, just as the Israelis must accept that certain items are non-negotiable for the Palestinian Authority, the PA in turn and the other nations supporting the talks must understand and accept that, for Israel, Jerusalem is non-negotiable. Whether the other parties believe this is justified or legitimate, it is a reality, whose disregard will ultimately doom these negotiations as it has others in the past.

Jerusalem’s difference, and its non-negotiability for Israel, arise from a number of factors. One, as suggested by the liturgical references, is religious. Jerusalem is the holiest city for Judaism, and has been so for approximately 3,000 years, since the construction of the First Temple there by King Solomon in around 960 B.C.E made it the central location of Jewish worship. It remained so continuously (other than during a 50-60 year exile of the Jews from the region by Babylonian conquerors, who destroyed the First Temple around 587 B.C.E.; the Second Temple was built after the Jews were permitted to return) for more than 1,000 years until 70 C.E., when the conquering Romans destroyed the Second Temple (as commemorated in Rome by the Arch of Titus) and exiled the Jews once again from Jerusalem. With the destruction of the Second Temple, worship in Jerusalem became an aspirational goal, as well as a symbol of the end of the forced diaspora from the Jews’ ancient homeland. For this reason, Jewish prayer and synagogue construction is physically aligned toward Jerusalem throughout the world; even within Israel, one turns to face Jerusalem when praying.

Far beyond the references at the end of the Yom Kippur and Passover services, prayers for, and about, returning to and rebuilding Jerusalem fill the daily and festival Jewish liturgy. Additionally, the only other major fast day besides Yom Kippur in Judaism, Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the month of Av), commemorates and mourns the destruction of the First and Second Temples (traditionally having both occurred on that day) and is filled with tributes and prayers for a return to Jerusalem. The Bible, too, contains many paeans to Jerusalem, such as the famous verse from Psalm 137, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." By contrast, while Jerusalem plays an important role in both Christian and Islamic faiths, for neither is the city either the most holy location or the focal point for prayer (Muslims, for example, pray toward Mecca in Saudi Arabia).

A second factor which establishes Jerusalem’s difference is its political history. The only indigenous populations in the region to have their capital in Jerusalem in the past 3,000 years have been Jewish nations (which have never been established anywhere else in the world). In addition to being the location for the First and Second Temples, Jerusalem was also the seat of Jewish national government beginning with King David (Solomon’s father) approximately 3,000 years ago and continuing until the Babylonian exile hundreds of years later. After centuries of colonial status under various invaders, the successful Maccabean revolt in 167 BCE against the Assyrian Greeks reestablished a Jewish nation with Jerusalem as its sole capital, lasting more than 200 years (both independently and under Roman domination), until the city’s destruction by the Romans.

From then until 1948, the city and the region were again passed from one invading power (Rome, Byzantium, Persia, the Islamic Caliphate, various Crusader and Islamic conquerors, the Ottoman Turks, and finally the British Empire) to another. Finally, in 1948, Jerusalem returned to its historical status as the capital of a Jewish state, now called Israel, even with half of the city claimed by Jordan, which had attacked and won control over its eastern part, including the Old City. In 1967, after the Six Day War, Jerusalem was unified under Israeli control. There was never a Jordanian or other Arab capital in Jerusalem; today, the Palestinian Authority has established a functioning capital and governmental seat in the city of Ramallah.

The third major reason why Jerusalem is different is how it been treated under others’ rule. Throughout history, foreign conquerors have officially barred Jews (and others) from access to Jerusalem and its holy sites. Jordan, the most recent modern outside occupier of the Old City, went much further than merely prohibiting Jews from coming in (notwithstanding the armistice agreement to permit access); it made a point of destroying and desecrating Jewish synagogues and cemeteries in areas it controlled, as well as seriously restricting access by non-Jews to holy sites. By contrast, under Israeli control, Arab citizens of Israel enjoy unrestricted and legally protected rights throughout Jerusalem, and Christian, Islamic and other holy sites are respected and made accessible to visitors, with Israel even ceding control of the Temple Mount itself to the local Islamic authority (the Waqf), whose management of the site has been controversial. While there have been some security-driven restrictions on certain sites (such as the Temple Mount) at certain times, the sites themselves are unharmed, and overall are open to the public and the world.

What about making Jerusalem an "international city" under the auspices of the United Nations, a concept inherent in the original 1947 UN Partition Plan? To whatever extent that might have been possible in 1947, the treatment of Israel by the UN since then, especially via its former Commission on Human Rights, means that Israel will no longer accept the UN as a neutral party. To a lesser extent, it’s highly unlikely that Israel would accept any outside party’s supremacy over Jerusalem, given the history and religious tradition discussed above. (The repeated modern denial by official Palestinian sources of a Jewish historical or religious connection to Jerusalem emphasizes the risks of non-Jewish control over the city.) The risks, and Jerusalem’s importance to the Jewish people, are just too great.

The majority of Israelis and its government have come to accept the political and functional necessity of a Palestinian state. If this means giving up claims to and abandoning some or most of the territory controlled by Israel post-1967, so be it; Israel has done so before (e.g. Sinai, Gaza) in the interest of peace. By the same token, though, the Palestinian Authority and the international community must accept the reality of Jerusalem and its unparalleled importance to Israel and the worldwide Jewish community if they truly want peace within a two-state solution. Land (even those neighborhoods bordering Jerusalem) can be swapped, refugees (Jewish and non-Jewish alike) compensated or welcomed as citizens or legal residents, access assured and protected, economic cooperation formalized, security arrangements made. If, though, the Palestinian Authority and third parties like the United States insist that Jerusalem be divided, and a Palestinian capital established there for the first time in history, there will be no peace agreement (as there wasn’t in 2000 for the same reason), and neither the Israelis or the Palestinians will be able to move forward from this current, untenable, difficult situation into secure statehood and mutual recognition.

Originally posted to JonathanEzor on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:30 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tribalism and Ooga-Booga (18+ / 0-)

    is the twin heart of darkness.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

  •  Jerusalem should be an Open City (30+ / 0-)

    controlled by the UN.

    Your religious justification does not fly, because it is holy to Christians and Muslims too. Saying it is the "most holy city" to Jews does give any special consideration. Suffice it to say that all three groups find it a holy city.

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

    by FrankCornish on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:38:23 AM PDT

  •  And the Palestinians (16+ / 0-)

    could make just as passionate claim to Jerusalem as the is Israelis as could Christians.

    WIKI

    In Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city,[6] and has been a holy city since, according to the Quran, it become the focal point for Muslim Salah (prayers), known as the First Qibla, in 610 CE, and Mohammed made his Night Journey to the city ten years later.

    And this concept that good negotiations only happen when there are things that are non-negotiable sort of flies in the face of the definition of negotiation. Stating that anything is non-negotiable hampers the negotiation before they even start.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:40:38 AM PDT

    •  As I said, the "holiness" is just one element (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antoniomachado, papicek

      To my knowledge, while Islam considers Jerusalem a holy city, it does not have anywhere close to the prominence in Islamic liturgy as it does in Judaism. The equivalent to Jerusalem for Jews in Islam is Mecca, and no one would ever seriously suggest that even an moderate Islamic nation would consider Mecca negotiable. The holy status of Jerusalem for Judaism also predates even the existence of Islam by more than 1,500 years.

      That said, Jerusalem's non-negotiability for Israel is based (as I've written) on other elements in addition to the religious idea, elements which do not have even close parallels in Palestinian Arab history. {ProfJonathan}

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

      by ProfJonathan on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zemblan, tapu dali

    If I was the Palestinians I would rather make peace while leaving Jerusalem alone than not have peace because I pushed the Israelis on that issue.

    But that's just  me.

  •  Some thoughts: (9+ / 0-)

    By contrast, while Jerusalem plays an important role in both Christian and Islamic faiths, for neither is the city either the most holy location or the focal point for prayer (Muslims, for example, pray toward Mecca in Saudi Arabia).

    Relevance? Why is the fact that Muslims pray toward Mecca significant in any way? That doesn't suggest that al-Quds is somehow less significant to Muslims, it just establishes the presence of multiple religious sites.  

    And East Jerusalem is surely nonnegotiable from the Palestinian perspective.  I suppose if you want to implement the single state solution your proposal to keep it undivided and under Jewish control is a reasonable one.  Maybe it could be one of the first areas to experiment with joint governance.  

    "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

    by Alec82 on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:42:25 AM PDT

  •  How generous of you. (17+ / 0-)

    The majority of Israelis and its government have come to accept the political and functional necessity of a Palestinian state.

    the diaries that time put in a safe place

    by InAntalya on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:45:20 AM PDT

  •  If that's the case (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScienceMom, esquimaux, desiderata

    It may just be that Israel has no future. Peace is necessary for Israel's future survival, it is not merely something designed to make the west happy. Demographically, Israel is losing the future every day. Personally, I think too many things have been called non negotiable by Israel, including these ongoing settlement expansions. Israel exists because the U.S has guaranteed their security. In that situation, nothing is non negotiable, or, we part ways and Israel is on it's own.

    •  Israel has no future? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66, MBNYC, hikerbiker

      I was just there and they seem to be doing great. Thriving even.

      While I agree that a solution is extremely important, they almost certainly have a future.

      •  The demogrpahics alone (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, elliott, borkitekt, JesseCW

        will make it an obsolete as a jewish state unless they come to a sustainable peace settlement.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:11:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Recent Israeli article on (0+ / 0-)

          demographics is here..

          •  Not sure why (0+ / 0-)

            people get all up in arms about the population thing.  Israel being 72% Jewish in 2030?  I can live with that.

            "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

            by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Think about all the irrational things which are (0+ / 0-)

              moving conservative US voters, and try again. Remembering how twitched they are that this country's birth rate is now more than 50% not Caucasian, and how soon the majority of the population will follow that, and how they are reacting.

              As I read the article, the trick is to figure out whose count is correct. Certainly the article argues that the percentage has been dropping a few percentage points each measuring period, despite aliyah of a million or so during the period. And the question then becomes whose count of Palestinians is correct, a count in which all the 'non resident' Palestinians apparently figure in the IDF count, as they should,but not in the census count because of the weird way that is done.

              After all, the problem which this issue turns around is the "Jewish" state of Israel, since recognition of the state of Israel has already de facto happened, decades ago. How much abuse of Israeli Arabs is legitimated by addition of the final word? -- how many will be stripped of their property and deported in the future to make the numbers come out right and how will they live in the shadow of that risk? (Forget swapping the land they are living on, because that's where the water Israel needs comes from and that they will NOT surrender). How many claims to land presently in the disputed WB will be preserved by addition of the final word. What will happen to non-Jews in a Jewish state, given the state of the political rabbis, and the 'price tag' conduct no one condemns with any real force, and the fact that this will be the only supposedly modern western state with this ethno-religious matter built into its international status, where no other western state still has it?

              And those of all of us who are not there, don't get a say in "I can live with that." because WE aren't doing it.

              •  The original (0+ / 0-)

                partition resolution in 1948 mentioned the Jewish state of Israel.  

                As for the numbers, Jewish institutions have a weird obsession about numbers.  How many Jews are there.  Where are they.  How fast are they intermarrying.  How fast are they dying.  All I'm saying is that I don't think you're losing the demographic war if you're 72% Jewish... That number just doesn't trouble me at all.

                As for your last paragraph--I agree with that one the most.  We don't get a say in Israel until we move there.  

                "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 02:23:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It should if Liebermann speaks for most in (0+ / 0-)

                  saying the peace won't happen for decades. By 'decades' from now, if the numbers continue to drop, they'll be where the US is at about the same time or a little later. And then your offspring will be arguing the same question with the population on the edge of minority if not there.

                  •  Lieberman (0+ / 0-)

                    wants peace tomorrow.  He just doesn't want the kind of peace I want.  He wants a territory exchange between Israel and a new Palestinian state.  

                    "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                    by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:02:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's not how I read the Israeli papers. (0+ / 0-)
                      •  You should (0+ / 0-)

                        really read his statements.  If you take them at face value, and he doesn't seem to be one to mince words, he wants to effectively take all of the all-Jewish settlements on the border of Israel and trade them for the all Arab towns in Israel on the border of the Samaria (the so-called "Arab Triangle)".  He'd then pick up Jews in isolated settlements (like where he lives) and create a much more Jewish Israel.

                        Problem with that is that the Arab Israelis want to be part of Israel and not a part of a Palestinian state.  So they'd never agree to a repartition.

                        "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                        by oldskooldem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 09:35:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Why should they agree to have their citizenship (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          zannie, capelza

                          stripped, to admit and concede to second class citizenship which unlike that of the majority, can be ripped away at any time? The proposal you describe treats them like a commodity or cattle, certainly not like persons who are supposedly in possession of equal rights in Israel, which is one principal bolster of its claim to be a modern state and a full democracy and not a theocracy.

                          •  I didn't say (0+ / 0-)

                            they should.  In fact I said they wouldn't.  If I had to choice between being a citizen of Israel and being a citizen of Palestine, I'd pick Israel too.

                            "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                            by oldskooldem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 08:52:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  IIRC, this is not the same day as the thread, you (0+ / 0-)

                            suggested or implied IMO that they were in some manner hindering or obstructing the 'switch populations' solution. What is already being made clear to them is that the inalienable citizenship of non Arabs in Israel is just that, but theirs is not only inalienable but negotiable and they are getting in the way of that negotiation.  A commodity. Modern democratic states' citizenship is not a negotiable commodity, and if there are two classes of citizens, one inalienable and one not by reason of ethnicity and religion, that state is not a modern democratic state.

          •  The Israeli ambassador to the US disagrees (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza

            "Even if the minimalist interpretation is largely correct, it cannot alter a situation in which Israeli Arabs currently constitute one-fifth of the country’s population—one-quarter of the population under age 19—and in which the West Bank now contains at least 2 million Arabs. Israel, the Jewish State, is predicated on a decisive and stable Jewish majority of at least 70 percent. Any lower than that and Israel will have to decide between being a Jewish state and a democratic state. If it chooses democracy, then Israel as a Jewish state will cease to exist. If it remains officially Jewish, then the state will face an unprecedented level of international isolation, including sanctions, that might prove fatal".

            - Michael Oren, the current Israeli Ambassador to the USA "Seven Existential Threats" May 2009, Commentary magazine.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 05:55:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

        almost certainly they do.

        "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

        by zannie on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:45:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... hearing "next year in Jerusalem."  I am very aware of the pull, both spiritual and psychological of this phrase.

    For many years I also bought in to the notion that unless Israel controlled Jerusalem we'd end up in the place where Jews weren't able to pray at the Wailing Wall, etc., because Arabs would make it off-limits to them as they have in the past.

    Sacred spaces on our planet have been butchered in so many ways.  Winter Rabbit writes about many of these sacred spaces in the US.  But these spaces are found around the world.

    The fact that human beings have been unable to protect our sacred spaces is not the fault of some complicated modern politics but the fault of an arrogance and ignornace that tries to put some monopoly on the real estate itself and never once perceives the spiritual energy that is there for everyone in endless abundance.

    Trying to own these kinds of spaces by the power of might or faux morality won't work, it has never worked and it will never work.

    To me this is not about I/P.  It is about sacred space and the arrogance of too many who try to make it into politics and religious dogma.

    That's why it's so sad that even the notion of Jerusalem becoming an "international city" isn't really workable.

  •  And how convenient it is (15+ / 0-)

    that Jerusalem just keeps growing.  Why, one day it might just approach the Jordan.

  •  I am a muslim (17+ / 0-)

    and I can tell u that there is nothing more sacred to muslims than jerusalem in the palestinian/israel conflict, even the most non-religous moderate will tell you that since every muslim is brought up knowing that jerusalem is the land of the prophets, its where al quds mosque is and its where the prophet made his journey. Most if not all muslim consider jerusalem to be non negotiable while the same goes for the jews, so this is a MAJOR problem which I think will be hard if not impossible to solve. PS, not to forget the holiness of the city to christians since its the birth place of christianity.

  •  The number one reason (0+ / 0-)

    why peace ain't happening anytime soon is Jerusalem.  If you look at these various peace plans, like the Geneva Initiative, I think Israel could accept 90% of the platform planks.  I think Israel could give up territory here and there, pick up isolated settlements, and do all those things that are needed for peace.  But Jerusalem is the one issue that I just don't see a solution that would be agreed-upon by both sides.  

    Jerusalem is the main reason why, eventually, I think the most likely (but not most preferred) outcome is that Israel sets unilateral borders and withdraws from parts of the West Bank just like it did with Gaza, Lebanon, the Golan, etc.

    "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

    by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:04:47 AM PDT

    •  But how does "Next Year in Jerusalem" demand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, esquimaux

      clearing out East Jerusalem of Arabs and insisting on that as well?  Al Aksa and the Wailing Wall are not going anywhere, unless extremists of one side or another decide to solve that problem with explosives, as the settlers did with a mosque over the weekend. THAT's the problem that worries me.

      •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

        Next Year in Jerusalem doesn't differentiate between the eastern, western, southern and northern parts of Jerusalem.  Nor does it demand any particular part.  But I think the Jewish citizens of Jerusalem, unlike the Jewish citizens of, for example, settlements in the Jordan Valley, won't be removed.  A Jewish government cannot remove Jews from Jerusalem like it can removed Jews from a settlement next to Ramallah or Jenin.  Just doesn't work.  

        And between the fact that the Palestinians aren't unified enough to negotiate and there is a huge gap between any government that can get elected in Israel post-second intifada, and any even non-credible leader of the Palestinians, I think the unilateral solution is becoming the most likely one.

        "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

        by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:36:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apparently it also does not distinguish (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          between what was Jerusalem in the past, and the huge megamess which has been built in order to 'change facts on the ground.'It's a statement that the diarist's dreams are more important to him than the lives of the people on the ground who are affected by his demand to make his dreams real.  

          I think you are probably wrong about the outcome because it is one of the pile of preconditions which Bibi has set but barred to anyone else. If the fight now about continuing is about anything it is about that blatant assymmetric unfairness, what's ours is ours and what's yours, Palestinians is negotiable. And that no-precondition thing only applies to you. Because ours are traditional and legitimate, and anyway, we insist.

          It is that unfairness which makes the current talks probably no go, since all it becomes is a posturing exhibition for Israeli pols who in point of fact never were planning to do any permanent deal, and thusfar are only using it to extract extortionate and irrational demands from the US and show how nationalistically irrational they are prepared to be to conservative voters they think they may soon be facing.

          •  On the precondition point (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure what you're talking about.  Bibi is the one willing to sit down and negotiate with no preconditions.  Abbas is the one insisting on a precondition.

            Preconditions are very different from points that one will not negotiate.  Preconditions are when you won't even talk to the other person unless X, Y and Z are done.  

            "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

            by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:57:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Security first is a precondition. "Jewish State" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza

              is also. No Right of Return is as well, it seems. No deal on Jerusalem is beginning to look like one as well. How many do you need to kill a deal - perhaps Bibi is looking for that number minus one, but got called on the settlements issue, since what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

              •  These aren't (0+ / 0-)

                preconditions.  A precondition is a requirement that the other side agree to something BEFORE you even sit down with them.  Bibi is willing to sit down and talk right now without preconditions about any possibility Abbas comes up with (and Bibi has some formulations of his own to propose).

                "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:01:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's what he says, but he also says Jewish (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  State and the others are non-negotiable. That is to say, they are preconditions, it must be that way or there will be no deal. Period. That is, according to my read of the Israeli papers, no others being acceptable at this time on these sites, what his public believes he means. You are quibbling about wording if you do not recognize this.

                  •  There is a difference (0+ / 0-)

                    between precondition and firm negotiating point.  Precondition, with the prefix "pre" means that they are conditions to be agreed to before the negotiations even start.  The fact that he will negotiate without anything agreed to means that he has no preconditions.  Wording is important in diplomacy.

                    "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                    by oldskooldem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're chivvying the wrong person. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      capelza

                      You and I both know better than that and throwing out a distinction without a difference is a waste of keyboard time. Under your standard, either all of them on both sides are preconditions or none of them are, but Bibi is clear that his are as inflexible as granite when he is talking to his own folk. We are way past Bibi trying to get away with saying he wanted these talks and had no preconditions and the Palestinians are because they have this precondition about settlement. If you think you're defending that, that horse has already left the barn.

                      •  And Abbas (0+ / 0-)

                        is inflexible as granite on other points.  But even granite can let through some water when it rains.  For example, while Israel doesn't believe there is a right to return, and that position is supported by international law, Israel may be willing to take some measures in the context of a peace agreement to appease Palestinian demands on the issue.  However, we'll never get to that point if Abbas won't sit down in the first place.

                        The difference here is whether they're even going to sit down in the first place.  And its a big one.  Among other things, it is all Obama is asking of the parties right now.

                        "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                        by oldskooldem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:42:21 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Abbas showed up and sat down,at which point (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          capelza

                          Bibi changed the conditions on the ground again, apparently owing to political pressure domestically, and is now busily negotiating bribes from the US before returning, and insulting and allowing others to insult the US while doing it, as well as trying to change the talks materially by unilaterally agreeing to move them to Paris.

    •  So, let me understand.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, corvo, FrankCornish

      Had the Partition Plan of 1947 been accepted by all parties (something the Arabs keep being blamed for), Jerusalem would have been a city the Jews(Israelis) could never claim as entirely theirs. Forever and ever divided and shared.

      How come that its religious significance is so much stronger today than 60+ years ago?

      OR, should I deduce that you are saying the Zionists never had any intention to abide by the agreement and sooner or later they would have kicked the Muslims out?

      "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

      by Euroliberal on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:15:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Shared" yes. "Divided" no. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JNEREBEL, ProfJonathan, Mets102

        Jerusalem was never divided until the Jordanians did it.

        They agreed to Jerusalem and Bethlehem being a corpus separatim and a partition line that denied them Hebron, the oldest Jewish populated city in the world, because they so desperately needed a state and because they had been guaranteed liberty of access, visit, and transit to holy sites and religious buildings that were to be preserved.

        It was worth it, to them, in order to have self determination.

        •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ProfJonathan

          Even if Hevron is the 2nd most holy Jewish city and the oldest Jewish population city... To achieve peace, if I'm absolutely guaranteed access to holy sites there, and if those holy sites aren't fucked with (and there is historical precedent saying both access won't be guaranteed, and sites will be fucked with), I could support pulling every Jew out of Hevron.

          Doesn't mean a majority of Israel would support that.  And doesn't mean I'd every tell Israel to do that--at least unless and until I made aliyah.   But it is an idea I can get behind.

          "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

          by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:49:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm. (22+ / 0-)

    I'll mark this diary as another example of why religion is not such a hot idea.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

  •  Oh? (9+ / 0-)

    Nor is the division of Jerusalem into two cities either geographically or politically doable.

    Try reading United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:09:49 AM PDT

  •  What about the notion that most Israelis are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul in Berkeley, capelza, JesseCW

    secular?  Although they are a rapidly diminishing majority, they are still there.

    They might be willing to be practical about dividing Jerusalem.  Land for peace.

    Also, if Israel keeps control of the West and the Old City, couldn't that be sufficient from a religious standpoint, since that is all there was when the Torah was written?

    •  Pardon the snark... (7+ / 0-)

      But here it is...

      Some diligent amateur archaeologist might find an ancient tablet with 9th century (BCE) plans for expanding the urban growth boundary.

    •  there are a lot of secular people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, corvo, FG

      in the settlements. cheap housing.and some of the biggest defacto settlements are in palestinian areas of Jerusalem.

    •  It does seem from the Israeli papers that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, papicek

      at the moment the nationalists, Zionist or not, are in the majority, opposing even the settlement freeze, and at least a goodly number who write comments opposed to a Palestinian state, or recognition of Palestinians as a people in the same way they insist on recognition of themselves as a people. Enough that the Foreign Minister, not a member of Bibi's party, went to the UN and said there would be no peace for decades and that a swap of population and the land they are living on, which would alienate, as in cast out of their existing citizenship, as many Israeli Arabs as he can arrange, into a state they did not choose. According to the reporting Liebermann did not clear that with the government before saying it on their behalf at the UN, and apparently he is too powerful to fire.  

      •  nah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        September 13, 2010

        This morning’s Israel Hayom reports: (full translated text at bottom):

           In this context, a decision was made that, for the first time, the Foreign Minister will address the UN General Assembly in New York at the end of the month, where he will replace the Prime Minister, who is busy negotiating with the Palestinians.

        Although American Jewish leaders decried Mr Lieberman's use of the UN platform to reveal a proposal that officially counters his own government's policy, Mr Netanyahu baffled observers by remaining demure. His officials publicly distanced him from the scheme, but then privately told the Israeli media that the prime minister did not think the plan illegitimate and that he would not "chastise" Mr Lieberman.

        Mr Netanyahu's silence should not surprise us. His foreign minister may be speaking more bluntly than other Israeli politicians, but he speaks for them nonetheless.

        source.

        "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

        by zannie on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:15:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          This article also from today claims that the speech was not cleared in advance although he might not disagree.

          Your post suggesting that still once again, trusting Bibi to be a man of his word is a very poor idea. And a PM who lets a man of a different party who is also interested in the PMship in the next elections to go off without approving on behalf of the government what he is to say is one who can be seen as a weak PM.

          •  my point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            of posting this from sept 13th is that it was weeks prior to the speech so there was lots of time. perhaps the specific words were not 'cleared' by bibi, but as my link demonstrates he was cleared by the government to replace bibi and there's no logical reason to not anticipate him stating his opinion which he's stated repeatedly.

            your link (not from today btw but dated the 29th)

            Netanyahu says he didn't see speech beforehand, but doesn't reject the idea.

            'doesn't reject' is a rhetorical tool to evade saying 'he agrees'. not reading a speech doesn't mean he wasn't cleared to make it. i don't know if you actually followed that link of mine but it tells the story of clinton flying in to meet him in jerusalem. indications are she knew what he was going to say.

            ;)

            "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

            by zannie on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:55:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  also read this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            peter beinart

             What would it take to make American Jewish groups admit that an Israeli prime minister is not serious about peace?

            You could hardly find a better test case than Benjamin Netanyahu. Until last year, Netanyahu had not just spent his entire political career opposing a Palestinian state; he had repeatedly compared such a state to Nazi Germany. He opposed the Oslo peace talks at their inception, and as prime minister in the late 1990s so consistently reneged on commitments made by his predecessors that U.S. envoy Dennis Ross later noted that "neither President Clinton nor Secretary Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace." In 2005, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed dismantling Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu resigned from his cabinet in protest. Netanyahu was still on record as opposing a Palestinian state in 2009, when he again ran for prime minister. He hewed to this position when forming his coalition government, even though doing so helped keep Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party from joining his cabinet, thus preventing Netanyahu from assembling the national unity government he claimed to want in order to confront Iran. Through all of this, the major American Jewish groups still refused to publicly entertain the idea that Netanyahu was anything but a champion of peace.

            Then, last summer, under intense pressure from the United States, Netanyahu reversed course. In a speech at Bar Ilan University, he announced that he now supported a Palestinian state—before adding two conditions that no previous Israeli prime minister had imposed. The first was that the Palestinians not merely recognize Israel, but recognize it as a Jewish state. The second was that all of Jerusalem remain under Israeli sovereignty, a condition that precluded the offers that Ehud Barak had made in 2000 and 2001 and Ehud Olmert made in 2008. As Livni commented after the speech, "Netanyahu doesn’t really believe that two states, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, even a demilitarized one, is an Israeli interest. But...he understood that at this stage he needs to utter the words ‘two states.’" America’s Jewish organizations, by contrast, hailed the speech as a sign of Netanyahu’s commitment to peace.

            imho, anyone advocating for all of jerusalem to be ruled under israeli sovereignty is not serious about peace, that includes the diariest.

            "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

            by zannie on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 02:10:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sufficient? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      Only if you believe that the Torah wasn't written during the 40 years in the desert, but is an invention of priests in Israel, hundreds of years later, or during the Babylonian exile, hundreds of years later still. Notions supported by some historical scholarship, but hotly denied by the people whose views we are arguing about.

      Come to think of it, who are we to say what they believe or want? I want peace, and I believe in it, on the examples of Northern Ireland and South Africa. Tenuous evidence, when there is so much other war, ethnic oppression, and religious hatred about in the world, but there it is.

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:49:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "non-negotiable" (6+ / 0-)

    is exactly why the US should just walk away from the I/P mess and the entire region.

    Though I'm not usually one to recommend disengagement anywhere, the weight of national interest and the negligible prospect of good outcomes versus the expense (Israel is the biggest recipient of US foreign aid, Egypt runs a close second) and effort put into seeking solutions among people who don't want solutions (on both sides) is a total waste.

    I fully realize the inhumanity of this stance, and if I believed there was any chance at all of reaching any kind of agreement, I'd say keep in there pitching, but I don't see it happening. The diarist here cites a long, unique history of Judaic identity with Jerusalem. All of which I acknowledge. But there will be no solutions without "non-negotiable" being dropped from the dialog, and it is a measure of the lack of a hopeful prognosis that the parties involved come to the table with so little good faith that they feel they cannot make their case well enough for the other side to even acknowledge the point. If anyone can work a miracle, it is George Mitchell, but he's shoving the Rock of Sisyphus uphill here.

    •  Nothing inhumane about your stance. (8+ / 0-)

      Only once the United States disengages -- in terms of dollars as well as diplomacy -- will the Palestinians actually have a chance.

      Hard to imagine a less "honest broker" in this mess than the United States anyway.

      •  it is inhumane... (0+ / 0-)

        and the Palestinians would bear the brunt of Israeli expansion, in a series of fast, brutal assaults. I have absolutely no doubt of this.

        I full well realize that the Palestinians are largely abandoned, and that US engagement is perhaps the only thing stopping Israel from the rapid, full scale (and illegal) ethnic cleansing of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, instead of the slow-motion cleansing we witness today. Nonetheless, I'm not certain that this is much worse than the prolonged, too often sharply violent conflict we've all witnessed over the last 60 years.

        I used to be a strong supporter of Israel, but they have acted egregiously enough for so long that I now feel it is valid to point out that if Tel Aviv, Israel's real capital, wants to be embraced by the international community as legitimate, then Israel must begin behaving as if they deserved the right to exist they insist upon.

        The key to the Canada's Responsibility to Protect initiative, which received widespread diplomatic support, is that governments of nations have an absolute, irreducible responsibility to safeguard the political, economic and social rights of all their citizens. What is revolutionary about the R2P initiative is that it established these requirements as a condition of national sovereignty itself among the international community and under this norm (R2P is not international law), Tel Aviv has forfeited its right to legitimacy.

        We might start with this as a baseline in whatever involvement we decide to invest in the region. We might begin here when we think of allocating more aid to Tel Aviv and Cairo. Non-negotiable? Washington might want to insist on our own "non-negotiable" demands along these lines.

        •  "Israel's real capital"... (0+ / 0-)

          ...is really what Israel says it is, not what others might require it to be. The seat of government of the Israeli government is and has always been in Jerusalem. That's the definition of a capital. {ProfJonathan}

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

          by ProfJonathan on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:43:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ordinarily, I'd grant your point... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, corvo

            however, I'm aware of it's status as an open city hasn't been altered officially:

            "No major foreign government has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital . . ."

            Source: NYT, 5 September, 1995

            Capital:
            name: Jerusalem
            geographic coordinates: 31 46 N, 35 14 E
            time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
            daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends the Sunday between the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
            note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the US, like all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv

            (emphasis mine)

            Source: CIA World Factbook. Yes, I'm aware of what that web document says, but it's noteworthy that this "recognition" doesn't extend to actually locating our embassy there for good reason.

            I'm aware of the issues as well, however, there are good, historical, and legal reasons why this argument lacks traction among the international community. This is recognized and acknowledged even by some of Israel's supporters. In short, as far as the international community is concerned, it's still an open issue.

            Furthermore, Israel's status as a sovereign nation rests upon the 1947 accords which specifically states that the status of Jerusalem is as "a separate entity under the aegis of the United Nations Trusteeship Council."

            Source: United Nations Department of the Secretariat (pdf).

            Like I said elsewhere, this attitude of unilateral pronouncements made non-negotiable is a perfect illustration of the bad faith with which all parties have brought to every peace effort, and why the US should walk away from the whole mess. None of the parties deserve our support any longer.

            Declare all you want, it's not up to Tel Aviv to determine what the rest of the world decides to recognize.

          •  You haven't addressed the real issue here... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ProfJonathan

            which are what prospects for peace exist, and why they're so dim. You haven't addressed the statements which correctly point out that the term, "non-negotiable" seems to indicate an attitude which insists on victory rather than a just peace.

            Having said all this, the calm, thoughtful presentation of your point of view is appreciated, even though I strongly disagree with your premise. (Why, for example, insist that there can be no return to 1948 or 1967? Non-negotiable again?)

            Security may be foremost in Bibi's mind, but the talks are going nowhere and cannot as long as attitudes like the one expressed here dominate.

            I realize what the real problem is and I read your other diary. I agree on much expressed there, however I don't see the way forward with so many bad actors out there (again, on both sides) to derail anything serious, and as long as the domestic politics of both communities abhor the fundamental change necessary for progress. The stakes couldn't be higher.

            I'd actually rather scale down the negotiations to small issues which can be agreed on rather than pursuing a fantasy of any peaceful settlement. Establishing a track record of cooperation in small, attainable goals may be all the progress we have any reasonable expectation of. Peace will have to wait.

    •  anyone who declares "non-negotiable" (7+ / 0-)

      this item - the capitol - is admitting they have extremist views.

      Bottom line is that everyone knows the western wall will remain in Israel. Even the palestinians know this. The palestinians want Jerusalem as capitol, but their leadership is aware that will be only part of the city. This is not shocking news to anyone.

      I noticed the diarist didn't address what to DO with all the Palestinians in the city. They are a fast-growing and large population. I guess he's assuming they'll all voluntarily leave. Bad assumption - the "evaporating palestinian" belief is one of the great mirages of this conflict. Ten years from now there will be more palestinians, not less. Wishing them away will do the Israelis no good.

    •  The diarist starts from the rather indefensible (6+ / 0-)

      postion that only the descendent of ancient Judiasim he adheres to has any legitimate claims.

      Of course, to understand the flaw with that reasoning, one has to understand that crocodiles and eagles are both reptiles, and are equally closely related to their last common ancestor.

      "We're not leaving Afghanistan prematurely. In fact, we're not ever leaving at all." -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates

      by JesseCW on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:08:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In that case... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    ....you can have war forever, or you can have a single non-confessional state with Jerusalem as its capital.  Personally I think #2 is way better, but whatever floats your boat.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:33:48 AM PDT

  •  What nonsense (10+ / 0-)

    On the topic of Jerusalem, which you consider "non-negotiable" you fail to mention a few things.

    1. The occupation in East Jerusalem is against International Law. Israelis cannot settle on land occupied in East Jerusalem just like the US could not begin building towns in Iraq and moving Americans over claiming it as a 51st State. That law is Article 4 of Geneva "no settling on land occupied through military force".
    1. You call it "non-negotiable" when Yitzhak Rabin himself agreed that East Jerusalem would be included in the two state solution during Oslo.
    1. Jerusalem was founded around 3000 BC by the Canaanities before any of the 3 monolithic religions existed. Indeed the Canaanities were the original Semitic people and have both Jewish, Arab and Syrian heritage. Jerusalem was not founded by Jews because no Jewish/Christian/Muslim religion existed in 3000BC.
    1. Muslims have held Jerusalem for almost all of the last 2000 years. At one stage it was even ruled by the Iranians. From 643 AD - 1099 AD it was ruled by Muslims. Then the crusades hit and held it for 97 years before Saladin came along and took it back in 1187 AD. There it remained until World War 1.
    1. Al Aqsa Mosque, means that no Muslim would agree to not have East Jerusalem under Israeli territory. What you propose is a recipe for permanent conflict between Jews and Muslim.  

    Non Violence is fine... so long as it works. - Malcolm X

    by Dr Marcos on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:35:38 AM PDT

  •  Reading this... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie, capelza, lgmcp, elliott, borkitekt, papicek

    ...I thought about what Teddy Kollek might have thought of it.  He was mayor when I lived there.  Just the thought made me sad.

    You're probably right that Israel will never accept partition of Jerusalem.  But Kollek was a living example of a more humane balance, or at least, the struggle for one.  This diary?  Not so much.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:36:36 AM PDT

  •  Forgive my ignorance but, (0+ / 0-)

    aren't Palestinians the Jews who stayed and were forced to convert to Islam at the point of a sword?  And if so, then who really should be the true inheritors of Palestine and Jerusalem?  Those that loved the land enough to stay or those that that abandoned the land?

    How many Israelis are actually blood descendants of diaspora Jews that left Israel as opposed to being descendants of converted Jews and having no actual ancestral ties to the land?

    •  All kinds of no to that comment. (7+ / 0-)
      •  Ok, I'm open to being schooled on that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScienceMom, aufklaerer

        But your reply is not very informative as to what is wrong with my statements.

        •  I would focus on your concept of nationality. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal

          Modern nations don't define their citizens by 'blood' (but by their willingness to adhere to shared principles, see: constitutional patriotism).

          Everybody who is born in the country is a citizen. There is no claim for soil that's derived from your 'bloodline'. It's a pre-modern concept of nationality, very close to the Nazis' 'Blut & Boden' ideology.

          http://www.onenationworkingtogether.org/

          by aufklaerer on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:14:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nationality is not really relevant to the point (0+ / 0-)

            I'm trying to determine which is the hereditary relationship between modern day Jews and Palestinians to the Jews that actually founded ancient Israel.

            •  In which case, however, (0+ / 0-)

              your point is irrelevant.  

            •  Oh please..use teh Google... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              Though try to avoid the agenda driven "biodiversity" sites

              There is plenty of intelligent discussion about the genetic heritages of both peoples.  

              But I have a feeling that you really don't give a shit.

              There are good, very good reasons to want the Palestinains to get a fair and just settlement, but this dancing around whether Jews are really Jews is crap.

              •  I do really give a shit (0+ / 0-)

                And there is a significant difference between a person having an interest in Israel because it is the land of their actual ancestors as opposed to it being strictly the land of their spiritual ancestors.

                Somebody who is Jewish from a religious perspective but not from an ancestral perspective can not really be said to have been dispossessed from the land of Israel.

                A person who is a descendant of the ancient Israelis whether they be Palestinian or Jewish would at least have a claim to being dispossessed.

                From a religious perspective I hold that all Jews are Jews.  No dancing around.  But that doesn't mean they have a right to dispossess their brothers from the land of Israel.

            •  Sorry, (0+ / 0-)

              but nation is the Latin word for 'hereditary relationship'.

              It's modern meaning differs somewhat, but traditionally, nation means people or folk, 'the community of the born'.

              http://www.onenationworkingtogether.org/

              by aufklaerer on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:35:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If you've been following the immigration pie (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aufklaerer

            fights, aufklaerer, you would know that while citizenship by birth inside the country is almost the Western Hemisphere standard, even modern European countries like Germany have in very very modern times, sufficiently modern to create problems with Turkish migrants who arrived there in the 70's, had verisons of the blood rule, you are German if your parents were German, and if you are born in Germany to persons not Germans, you were out of luck. There has been commentary to the effect that the EU made them change that somewhat, but let's be accurate here.

            The problem with anyone citing History, especially on this, is that each side wrote its own and has been doing that since an explanation was needed for the 'ten lost tribes' who weren't lost at all. Yet peiople believe in their version of 'history' as if it and only it could be accurate and all others are bogus. If we were looking at the original borders of Israel and Judea in OT times, I don't think we would see either in most of the places they are now, because hostile groups were there and weren't leaving then either, such as the Phoenicians, and I do not remember from my seminary days any particular talk about either of the ancient kingdoms having Mediterranean coastlines. And nobody is arguing indivisible Jerusalem by waving ancient maps either, except the one here who is very keen on keeping the Mount of Olives.

    •  Ick. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mll, zemblan, JesseCW, Mets102, Carboloaded

      This comment is little short of repulsive.

      Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

      by MBNYC on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:02:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Palestinians are descended, in large part, from (4+ / 0-)

      Jews who converted to Christianity or Islam (sometimes one before the other).  Almost none of these conversions were in any way "at the point of a sword".

      Another large part of the Palestinian genome includes semites, including Arabs (used here to mean people from the Arabian penninsula) who moved into the Levant during the conquest.  Some of these people were Jewish, btw.  

      Identities under discussion here overlap and intersect in interesting ways.

      How many Israelis are actually blood descendants of diaspora Jews that left Israel as opposed to being descendants of converted Jews and having no actual ancestral ties to the land

      Ugh.

      First, the claim is not one of "blood", but of cultural continuity (or religious, depending on who's making the claim).

      Second, very fucking few.  European Jews as a group show evidence of, at most, about a 40% admixture of "european" ancestory.

      "We're not leaving Afghanistan prematurely. In fact, we're not ever leaving at all." -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates

      by JesseCW on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:18:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a Palestinians whose roots (10+ / 0-)

      go back to Yemen.  My family is Christian.  We were probably Muslim when we came to Palestine in the 8th century and were converted by the sword by the Crusaders.  

      [H]uman history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. H. Zinn

      by soysauce on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:38:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't agree with you. (10+ / 0-)

    It either needs to be divided or shared.

    There will be NO peace agreement without that.

  •  a question i've always wanted to ask (9+ / 0-)

    if you have the good fortune to actually be in Jerusalem, what do you say at the end of the seder?

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I don't want to take my country back. I want to take my country FORWARD.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

  •  No (9+ / 0-)

    I never comment in I/P threads, cause it is filled with hijacking, idiocy, and general asshattery.  But today I will comment.

    I support a two state solution, which means I support the right of both Palestinians and Israelis to viable state.

    But as for your claim that Jerusalem in not negotiable due to the religious beliefs of Jews, I simply must object.  Jews' religious views have no bearing on the question of statehood, any more than Christian or Muslim religious views do.  

    Jews are only the Chosen People for religious Jews, the rest of us simply do not give any credence to it--any more than we give credence to any religious claims by anybody.  

    The justification for the Jewish STATE, is not religious, and any use of religion to frame to negotiations is inappropriate.

    If you want peace, you will need to negotiate in good faith, and accept that your religious views have no standing with anyone else who is not Jewish.

    Time to get serious, and leave your religious chauvinism at the door.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:51:51 AM PDT

    •  Whatever *you* believe... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG

      ...my point was more what the reality of the people involved is. Facts, and feet, on the ground matter. Whether or not the Jewish connection to Jerusalem matters to you, it does to the people who will have to agree to any final settlement with the Palestinians. {ProfJonathan}

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

      by ProfJonathan on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And vice-versa (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, capelza, corvo

        And that is what you do not mention.  

        Anyone who is not willing to negotiate over Jerusalem, whether Israeli or Palestinian, is simply not serious about achieving peace.  

        Anyone who is not willing to negotiate over Jerusalem, would prefer another 50 years of murder, death, and horror to losing access to a religious site.

        Anyone who is not willing to negotiate over Jerusalem is a religiously intolerant, no more, no less.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  really (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, InAntalya

        my point was more what the reality of the people involved is.

        because the reality of the people involved includes palestinians who won't negotiate away jerusalem either.


        the israeli government and officials of the Obama administration and other governments supporting peace talks must understand: for palestinians and arabs in general, jerusalem is, simply put, different.

        i urge you to read The Lessons of Ayodhya.

        "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

        by zannie on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:40:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And what if the Right of Return were non- (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie, capelza, onanyes, esquimaux, papicek

    negotiable?  Or the right of the Palestinians to self-defense and a standing military?

    The trouble is that not enough people want peace -- they want victory.

    I suspect that if everlasting peace and harmony could be achieved by Israel giving up ALL of Jerusalem, they would turn down peace and harmony.  

  •  religious reasons are not valid (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie, corvo, elliott, esquimaux

    for claiming property.  

    At least that is what my deity told me.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:50:10 AM PDT

  •  um, just one note (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Euroliberal, corvo, elliott

    Israel did not give up Gaza in the interest of peace.  It gave up Gaza in the interests of security.  And it worked quite well.  Almost everything Israel has done has been in the interests of security, which certainly is a defensible position, but let's not call it something it isn't.

    I agree with you that Jerusalem is non-negotiable to the Israelis. And I understand why. It is also non-negotiable to the Palestinians.  At some point, it will become negotiable to at least one side.

    Or - and this is far more likely - hundreds of thousands more will die in a war that makes the last forty years look like peace, and the unsustainable situation we have now will no longer exist.

    Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

    by eparrot on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:55:05 AM PDT

  •  this line of argument is especially ironic (8+ / 0-)

    given that many of the palestinians being pushed out of jerusalem are in part the direct descendants of the original israelite inhabitants of that area (neither the babylonians, nor the assyrians, nor the greeks, nor the persans, nor the romans, nor the arabs, nor the crusaders, nor the turks, nor the british forced every resident of the levant into diaspora, most remained behind under new management). but because they now belong to a different religion and ethnicity, they are painted by recent arrivals from northern and eastern europe as invaders and interlopers in the land that they have always lived.

    for people who don't even live in the area arrogating the right for one ethnic group to dominate the other because of ethnogenesis stories derived from ancient texts makes this diary outright hilarious.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:00:50 PM PDT

    •  But you're forgetting the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      "theories" (ridiculous, IMO, but so it goes...) connecting the modern population of Palestinians to the ancient Philistines (P.L/R.S.T). By the terms of this cultural mapping, the Philistines (ancestors of the Palestinians) were of foreign origin and invaded the southern Levant only in the late thirteenth / early twelfth century BCE. Again, it's an utterly ridiculous theory, yet there are plenty of fringers who both believe and perpetuate this fantasy.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well.... (3+ / 0-)

        while the Philistines did disappear as a distinct peoples sometime after the Babylonian invasion (I think they were mentioned as still being around in the 5th BCE)...the actual physical presence was not massacred, did not cease to exist as actual human beings.  They were absorbed and I have read that they were converted to Judaism by the Hahmoneans..

        So, it isn't that out of the question that genetically, the Palestinians and possibly some Jews are descended from, or rather, have some Philistine genetics.

        But I agree, the political use of this idea is silly.   It is the mirror of "the Palestinians are Arabs who only arrived after the Islamic expansion, [or my "favourite"], they didn't arrive until the Zionists had made the desert bloom."

      •  What happened to the Edomites, who were always (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot

        around in the same places because the OT writers kept writing about them that they were. And other groups who crop up in the text from time to time? That area of the world has always had many peoples swirling through it, in and out and sometimes in again, and so on.

        •  Good question, for which I don't really have (0+ / 0-)

          an answer. My historical interests are primarily focused on the northern "boundary" of ancient Israel, and I just don't know enough about the Edomites / Idumeans to the south of Judah to provide a well-sourced answer.

          Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

          by angry marmot on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:56:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Palestinians - Just Get Over It! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, corvo, papicek, soysauce

    We have heard the multifaceted historical/religious rationale for the preordained Israeli position of non-negotiability, and indivisibility of Jerusalem, because, of "Jerusalem's difference."

    So Palestinians, don't you even go there, in terms of wanting a divided Jerusalem. Who really cares about your historical/religious rationale on the status of Jerusalem anyway? So Palestinians, in terms of what you want, just get over it! And then we can start some serious negotiating.

    Oh, and while you're at it, accept the preordained fact that a lot of Jewish settlements on the West Bank are also non-negotiable.

    •  You forgot to mention that all those persons who (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, soysauce, southof

      were believed to be Arabs who were driven out in and around the War of 1948, who are now, also not negotiable, Somebody Else's Problem, hundreds of thousands of them. Because although aliyah is of course acceptable, return of other folk is not, although their departure was much more recent.

      •  The diarist's solution, last year, on the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        "right of return.", in his "My One-State, Jewish State, Palestinian State Solution,"

        Buy those suckers off!

        For those Arabs whose families lived in mandate Palestine before 1948, and for that matter those Jews whose property was seized and who were expelled en masse from most of the Arab nations following 1948, the issues are much more economic than safety-related. To that end, I would propose that a coalition of nations interested in supporting a peaceful resolution to the I/P conflict create a fund from which reparations could be paid to all those Arabs and Jews who were forced from their homelands (or who fled and were not allowed back) as a result of the creation of the State of Israel.

        •  Frame of reference for "fair" reparations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          to all of the displaced Palestinians - $24 in wampum that the Dutch civilizers purportedly paid to Native Americans for Manhattan. Now that was a fair deal!

          •  That's a bit of a fib/myth... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            Like George Washington not telling a lie in regards to a certain cherry tree.

            They did pay the Lanape some money, more than 24 dollars, but they Dutch had already set up a fort a year or two before they "bought" it.

            Facts on the ground and all that.

        •  And just who do those advocating this think is (0+ / 0-)

          going to come up with that buyout, and where do they think the allegedly bought off are going to go, since none of the places they are want to keep them as they all have their own cultures and large piles of needy people. Money is only a solution if you have a place from which to spend it. Perhaps the reason Bibi et al are so pissed at Obama is that Bush supposedly promised he would take a hundred thousand 'as citizens' and O is not in position to do that.

          I can hardly wait to hear the blood money negotiation on that one. Now just how much is three generations of life plus all the property which was stolen, discounted for the expense of clearing title in favor of Israel?  realy worth? Nah, not that much.  

  •  Supporting Annexation of Land taken by military (7+ / 0-)

    force is not the basis of peace, but a call for a continuation of war and occupation. Even if your dream came true, and some Palestinian leaders agreed to such things... it would not bring peace.

    peace is not merely the absence of tension... but the presence of justice.

    this is why i support real peace talks based on international law and human rights, not  on the relative military and political power of each party.

    Free Bradley Manning!

    by Tom J on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:45:29 PM PDT

  •  Right-wing ultra-nationalists (9+ / 0-)

    like yourself are the reason I very rarely identify as "Arab" in discussions with non-Arabs. You all are invested in denying my cultural heritage and casting doubt on its legitimacy, of which this diary is a prime example.

    So I cannot afford to call myself Arab in your presence. To do so is to buy into your framing that we are no different from Jordanians or Iraqis or Yemenis or Moroccans, and therefore have no special claim to any of historic Palestine.

    So I am forced to deemphasize my Arab identity in favor of my Palestinian one, so that you and your fellow ideologues have no chance to deny the latter.

    I will tell you this though. So long as there is even a single Palestinian living and breathing on this planet, Israel cannot lay undisputed claim to Jerusalem, most especially not to the holy Palestinian temples of al Haram al Sharif and Kanisat al Qiyama.

    Jerusalem is no less holy to Palestinians than it is to Israelis. At some point, you ultra-nationalists will have to come to grips with that.

    Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

    by unspeakable on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:10:04 PM PDT

    •  I don't (0+ / 0-)

      know if I'm an ultra-nationalist or just a garden variety nationalist or even just a househand mainstream Jew, but I agree with this:

      So long as there is even a single Palestinian living and breathing on this planet, Israel cannot lay undisputed claim to Jerusalem, most especially not to the holy Palestinian temples of al Haram al Sharif and Kanisat al Qiyama.

      I'd even go a step further and say that is true if you replace the word Palestinian with the word Muslim.

      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

      by oldskooldem on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:25:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just out of curiosity does anybody (0+ / 0-)

    know what the hell happened to Ariel Sharon?

    I have a get-well card and a sympathy card. Not sure which one to send!

  •  Jerusalem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zemblan

    ...has not just been subject to negotiations but has been, in fact, negotiated, albeit unsuccessfully.  And that will remain the case.

    For the most part, there are largely Israeli populated areas and largely Palestinian populated areas.  These can be partitioned with appropriate security arrangements.

    With respect to the holy sites it becomes trickier.  But control, sovereignty, and administration can be divided.  If necessary, parts can be internationally administered or jointly administered.  An international city is not feasible or desireable.  But the wall, temple mount, etc?  Something reasonable can be worked out.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 02:13:54 PM PDT

  •  I think it is you who must understand (0+ / 0-)

    that claiming special status simply doesn't wash.  Israel today exists ONLY because the UN said so, not because of any divine decree, no matter what your religious convictions might be.

    So when you say you (or Israel, or Jews, or whatever) don't "trust" the UN, that's fucking rich.  Fundie Jews aren't any more civilized than Fundie Muslims or Fundie Christians.  Screw you all.

    "...if Barack Obama were somehow able to cure hunger in the world the Republicans would blame him for overpopulation" - Rep. Grayson

    by the tmax on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 07:24:55 AM PDT

    •  Israel does not exist... (0+ / 0-)

      ...because "the UN said so."

      Israel existed because of the long-standing history of the Jewish people to the land and because the Zionist movement successfully established a community there and also successfully fought off those who tried to squelch it.

      The UN's acceptance of Israel is no more than the UN accepting any other nation into its ranks.

      If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

      by JPhurst on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:28:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, yes it does (0+ / 0-)

        You are miss-telling the story.  Israel exists because the UK abandoned Palestine, and the Zionists successfully petitioned the UN to accept their claim as a nation.

        Without that UN acceptance, 'Israel' might exist according to the Zionists, but Israel as a country with things like borders and trade agreements wouldn't.

        You have to understand, the only legitimacy that Israel has comes from the UN.  Your religious (and/or cultural/historical) beliefs simply don't provide any real basis for your political claims to any particular piece of land.

        "...if Barack Obama were somehow able to cure hunger in the world the Republicans would blame him for overpopulation" - Rep. Grayson

        by the tmax on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 11:34:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site