Here's an interesting item about three public markets in Jerusalem: the gigantic mall at Malha, the upscale-touristy open-air promenade at Mamila, and the oldest of the three, the tourist market in the Old City (about a three minute walk from Mamila). In all three there are Israeli and Palestinian shoppers together; in the Old City the stores are all operated by Arabs and in Malha most or all of the stores are operated by Jews; in Mamila there are Jews and Arabs on both sides of the counters.
In the past I've toyed with the thesis whereby the more direct the Israeli control of Palestinians, the better for them in many ways. Where would any reasonable person prefer to live: in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, In Syria, in Hamas Gaza, or in Israeli Haifa? Over the past year or two Salaam Fayad and his people may finally be getting their act together in some parts of the West Bank, and hopefully this will continue. In the meantime, however, for all the many blemishes, Jerusalem seems not to be so bad.
In a different universe, meanwhile, there are currents in the Haredi community, in Jerusalem and elsewhere, which may lead them, too, into a natural participation in the broader society. Perhaps.
Bill Clinton, by the way, thinks he understands how these sort of issues play out in the negotiations for peace. I'm not convinced, but it's interesting how closely he follows the matter.
On a different - but not totally unrelated - subject, TNR offers a description of the occupation of West Sahara, and the difference in the way that occupation is treated compared to Israel's. A whiff of hypocrisy, if you read closely. Which raises the question: where would it be better to live, in West Sahara or in Kalkilya, say, on the West Bank? (h/t Silke).