Sunday, May 22, 2011

Don't Divide Jerusalem: Roundup

I've collected my various posts on the idiocy of dividing Jerusalem and put them all in one place.

I've been telling people about this little project, in which I walk along the putative line of division and see what it looks like. Most people are quite startled: first, by the idea; then, upon reflection, by the fact that it's novel. You'd think there would be thousands of reports like this, that every new journalist coming to town would wish to report on what the line is supposed to look like, and that politicians who are so enamored by the idea would be shoving each other sideways in their haste to be photo-opped on the line. But no.


Y. Ben-David said...

Congratulations on this "avodat kodesh" (holy project). I am absolutely appalled as to how Israelis, who should know better, so lightly talk about dividing the city which can only mean its destructions. This attitude confirms to me what Rav Yaakov Medan wrote in the pre-Yom Ha'Atzmaut issue of the Makor Rishon newspaper. He stated that the goal of the "peace negotiations", as the Left sees it, is to give enough territory to the Arabs so that they will then give these people enough time to arrange a place in another country to flee to. Someone who wants to maim Jerusalem like this does not believe in Israel or the Jewish people. It's that simple.

4infidels said...

I guess the reason that journalists don't actually do reports like this is that they read up on the conventional wisdom prior to arriving in the region.

And all the "experts" (Tom Friedman and Fareed Zakaria are President Obama's favorites, which partially explains his superficial analysis and misreading of the situation; the reset is his understanding of the conflict shaped by anti-Israel friends and colleagues) and professional peace-processors (Aaron David Miller, Richard Haas, Martin Indyck, Dennis Ross--that infamous cast of meddling American Jews) keep repeating the mantra that everyone knows what the parameters of the peace deal should look like. Given that their plans have been failed for two decades, you would think that some journalists might want to revisit the conventional wisdom, which, of course, takes as sacrosanct that the majority of Palestinians would be amenable to a "reasonable" settlement of the conflict if only their leaders took that step and enough BOLD Israeli concessions were made.

That means ignoring Islam, downplaying the daily incitement in Palestinian media, schools and mosques and acting as though both sides were equally at fault and have equal legal and moral claims to the territory in dispute, an approach that has not only been unsuccessful, but is hardly fair to the Israelis.

Now, Dennis Ross knows enough about how things work in negotiations over borders to have warned Obama that his language in his latest "major address" was not helpful. Thus, the New York Times calls him "Israel's friend" in the White House. I would think that would be a hard case to make given Ross' duplicitous dealings with Israel during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations (see Yossef Bodanski's "High Cost of Peace"). That Dennis Ross is being cast as "Israel's friend" by the pro-Obama and pro-Palestinian NY Times--in an attempt to discredit his opinions--shows just how anti-Israel those in Obama administration are. According to the NY Times, Ross' ideas haven't resulted in a final peace accord because they are not bold enough and moved the process along too slowly; though we know that they failed because Ross' ideas were built around the hopeful assumption that Arafat or Abbas would choose an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza over continuing the war to destroy Israel.

Which is how we get back to the point that "everyone knows what the final outcome would look like if we can only get the parties to the table." And thus no one needs to revisit the failed assumptions of the past two decades. Just push the parties harder (meaning more Israeli concessions) and eventually the Palestinians will come around. By now, Dennis Ross knows that demanding more from the Israelis will only increase Palestinian demands and make it easier for them to avoid negotiations.

Silke said...

I remember that Didi Remez once tried to mock Yaacov for his language skills - so just in case he is reading here - I have listened to Yaacov's Hamburg speech last night and believe you me, dear Didi Remez, Yaacov's German is very well up to the task.

As to dividing Jerusalem: The Soviets divided Berlin. It didn't do them any good. It may not have been the reason for their demise but it sure helped to keep their bad name alive and thriving.

If I were American I would heed that example and stay well away from dividing a big city that is much much older and due to not being as flat much much more tricky.

What will happen there, may hurt their being liked more all over mankind (religious and history and/or art-loving) through the decades much much more than any amount of generosity and good-will of any kind can compensate for.

No matter how much the Muslim world may rejoice they will not be content, having gotten not all of it.

As to that international city nuttery: Only paper pushers who learned their stuff i.e. the theory of it at uni and never even contemplated doing what is a paralegal's daily task will dare to argue for it.

I read that a Peter F. Drucker was the great guru who got American management theory going (I think he invented the motivate them instead of beat them mantra for the lower classes) was, according to his wife in The Atlantic, incapable of even planning how a real company in real life should get its paper supply organized.

NormanF said...

Very few people have any idea of where the city could be divided. Since 1967 the original lines that divided it have been erased.

Those who talk blithely of re-dividing Jerusalem have no idea how to do it in practice.

I think its safe to say its one notion that will never go beyond idle speculation.

4infidels said...

Outstanding article on the topic of the "two-state solution" and what the "peace processors" fail to recognize...

Morey Altman said...

A terrific collection of thoughtful, factual posts. Which means they will be ignored by the people who most need to read them. Sadly.

By coincidence, we were discussing a different division over at Yisrael Medad's blog.

I wrote: I haven't tried working out the square dunams, but I have a feeling that if a Palestinian state ever came into being, with Israel retaining all of modern Jerusalem including built up Jewish neighbourhoods (and the Old City), the Palestinians would still retain half of the Corpus Seperatum from the Partition plan (1947). The other option would be to implement the plan's recommendation of a vote by Jews and Arabs within the Corpus Seperatum regarding the future of Jerusalem. My guess would be that the vast majority, including Palestinian Arabs in and around Bethlehem, would vote to incorporate the whole area into Israel. Now what would the UN think of THAT?

Silke said...

My guess would be that the vast majority, including Palestinian Arabs in and around Bethlehem, would vote to incorporate the whole area into Israel.

What an incorrigible bunch of believers you are that rational behaviour will win the day?

Ever heard of Goebbels' asking "do you want total war?" (I know I know I shouldn't but you have to watch the video of it and see all the war injured sitting in the audience to comprehend the full extent of delusion humans are capable of.)

BTW I hope and/or believe and/or trust that people who trust so much in rational thought as so many of you do around here will never fall in mass for any of those madnesses.

Barry Meislin said...


And here's our good friend Saeb Erekat offering what is the epitome of rational proposals (given the current state of rational thought):

(Such a kidder, our Saeb...)

AKUS said...

You should make sure that the State Department knows where to find your collection.

In fact, I'll send a link to my Congressman.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't someone send the link to the Israeli mfa?
On second thought, a congressman is probably a better idea.


Silke said...

all of that and spreading it wherever it comes to your mind is probably a good idea also

and not once per blog but again and again and again whenever it fits into a discussion