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Guest Voice

Enough of the Jerusalem Mantra

By Daniel Seidemann

I was born American. Thirty-five years ago, I chose to become Israeli. My choice in no way reflects a lack of affection for the United States. But patriotism is monogamous: I am an Israeli patriot, and a platonic friend of the land of my birth. I have never voted in a U.S. election and I belong to no U.S. political party. I see myself as an observer of, rather than a participant in, American presidential election politics.

But as a Jerusalemite, I do have a stake in the 2008 Presidential race, like it or not.

Because like in past elections, the candidates and their surrogates are trying to use me - my life, my city - to score points with voters, bolster their pro-Israel credentials, and attack their opponent.

Because both parties are mindlessly clinging to what I call "the Jerusalem mantra": swearing fealty to the view of Jerusalem as "the-eternal-undivided-capital-of-Israel-that-will-never-be-redivided." Just take a look at the 2008 Democratic and Republican national platforms: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths." (Democrats); and "...Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel." (Republicans).

The reality, of course, is more complex. And I take some solace in knowing that this reality will likely dictate more responsible policies from whoever is elected, just as it has in past presidencies. But given all that has changed in the past decade, the persistence of the Jerusalem mantra is exasperating -- akin to candidates pandering to a Jerusalem version of the Flat Earth Society.

Almost eight years ago, at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Barak put Jerusalem on the negotiating table, decisively shattering the Jerusalem mantra. And all the "armchair-Zionists" in the American Jewish community, hunkered down in the bunkers of previous wars, and all the self-proclaimed "Christian Zionists," who secretly aspire to turn Jerusalem into an Armageddon theme park, can't put it back together. This game-changing move led to the recognition that the only path to resolving this conflict is a two-state solution involving the political division of Jerusalem, with Jewish neighborhoods becoming the capital of Israel, and Arab neighborhoods becoming the capital of Palestine.

If the conflict is to end in a peaceful resolution - in a year or in twenty years - it will only be along these lines. No other option exists. Tragically, the ongoing creation of irreversible facts on the ground may well destroy even this option, and with it, the prospects of a two-state solution. In this case, Israelis and Palestinians will be condemned to an eternally-hemorrhaging, Balkanized future.

So, as a Jerusalemite, I have a keen interest in this election. All American voters who claim to care about Jerusalem and the Holy Land do, too. Given all that is at stake, I would suggest that these voters pose a few questions to the candidates:

If elected, will you pursue the only serious peace option: a two-state solution in which a politically divided Jerusalem will be the respective capital of Israel and Palestine? And if a conflict-ending agreement is not immediately available, will you work to prevent the creation of facts on the ground that will irrevocably destroy this option?

If elected, will you work to prevent the destabilization of Jerusalem? Will you engage in policies that will enable Jerusalem, even in the absence of a comprehensive peace agreement, to become the counter-paradigm to the "clash of civilizations"-- the place where Judaism, Christianity and Islam co-exist? Will you help Jerusalem resist the onslaught of holy warriors, domestic and international -- Jewish, Christian or Muslim -- who revel in the prospect of turning Jerusalem into a playground for jihad, holy war and Armageddon?

If elected, will you stand up to the "Jerusalem mantra"-mongers?

Israelis appreciate the Democratic and Republican parties' support for Jerusalem as our capital. But this support is hollow. Only with the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital will Israelis enjoy the crowning achievement of Zionism: universal recognition of West Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, as our capital, emblematic of the unconditional acceptance of the Jewish State among the family of nations.


Daniel Seidemann is a Jerusalem attorney and founder of the Israeli NGO Ir Amim, dedicated to an equitable and stable Jerusalem with an agreed political future.

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Comments (140)

GJ:

HAN wrote: "As far as his alleged pro-German sympathies are concerned I think they had more to do with his deep dislike of the British than any anti-semitism. His son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the late Shah) has witten that he was not anti-semitic just anti-British"

This doesn't stand up as proof, but while living in Persia under the Shah's rule in 1961-62 while my father was with the Harvard Advisory Group, we were frequently 'serenaded' by local children chanting "English girls and boys are very-very donkey."

David:

Sorry for the delay, Hans.

"The claim that Persia changed its name to Iran in the 1930's at the suggestion of Hitler or the Nazis is a canard."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_naming_dispute#cite_note-2 includes references
http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/language-article5.htm is an extract from a book by a scholar
http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/iranorpersia1.htm and many more

Regardless of the origins of both words in different areas in the present-day nation, it is clear that the official name of the nation was changed for that specific reason.

The only canard is that you can make something true just by denying its opposite.

"by which Iranians always refered to themselves." As the links show, some did, some didn't.

"He also wanted to show that the country was now embarked on a rapid program of modernization." How's that working out for them?

"his alleged pro-German sympathies", rather, his documented sympathies.

"His son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the late Shah) has witten that he was not anti-semitic just anti-British." Ahh, so his son and successor tries to ameliorate his father's words for int'l audiences and that erases history? Maybe in Iran...

"Anwar Sadat who was allegeldy pro-German during WWII", ask yourself a few questions:
1) Why did many Nazis find refuge in Egypt under Nassar and Sadat?
2) Where was the first Arabic version of the Protocols printed and who brought it there?

"later made peace with Israel." After losing repeatedly, then wanting the Suez Canal income to resume and only after being bribed by the US. As long as you're mentioning sons, his has openly stated that the peace agreement his dad made is invalid because it violates Sharia law.

VICTORIA:

Maybe if Mr. Seidermann reads his posts, he could give us an inside view from Jerusalem on tonight's election results.
With my insufficent knowledge, I lean towards Ms. Livni myself- and yes, I'm a bleeding heart type.
I appreciate your strong sense of self- and your intent to reach out for peace.
So I look forward to learning mroe if you post.
Peace and thanks in advance just in case...

VICTORIA:

Wouldn't it be an interesting exercise of gauging how much or little each side understand's the other's concerns by having each list their own concerns and grievances- and then, what they imagine are the other's concerns and grievances.

Even having to imagine and the effort required to put into writing the other's POV would be valuable-

Then comparing of course. Palestinians POV next to Jewish perception of and vice versa-

Wouldn't it be wild if there were POV and percetion lists that had some similarity- imagine the conversation they would have.
O well, I can dream, can't I?

VICTORIA:

The African Peace Process met with success.

Are there people who have noticed this powerful peacemanking paradigm?

Mr. Seidermann has quite a wish list.
Naturally, it is from an Israeli persepctive, and who can fault him for that?

****************************
* If elected, will you pursue the only serious peace option: a two-state solution in which a politically divided Jerusalem will be the respective capital of Israel and Palestine?

* And if a conflict-ending agreement is not immediately available, will you work to prevent the creation of facts on the ground that will irrevocably destroy this option?

* If elected, will you work to prevent the destabilization of Jerusalem?

* Will you engage in policies that will enable Jerusalem, even in the absence of a comprehensive peace agreement, to become the counter-paradigm to the "clash of civilizations"-- the place where Judaism, Christianity and Islam co-exist?

* Will you help Jerusalem resist the onslaught of holy warriors, domestic and international -- Jewish, Christian or Muslim -- who revel in the prospect of turning Jerusalem into a playground for jihad, holy war and Armageddon?
*******************************

The USA has no business as a peace broker.
A mediator must necessarily be neutral.

From your perspective Mr. Seidermann, what might a Palestinian wish list look like?

Truth:

israel is an APARTHEID COUNTRY. Jews have palestinians in a concentration camp surrounded by what free american media call "security fence".
Anybody that supports a terrorist apartheid regime have no morals at all. In fact "christian zionists" are the same white suprimacists and their decendants that hung blacks from trees in the "bible belt".

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Re: Jerusalem and Palestine.
The so-called "Palestinian Arabs" are the descendents of the ancient Philistines and Canaanites. They became Arabised in the sense that they adopted the Arabic language and most the Arab religion after their lands were conquered by the Muslim Arabs of Arabia in the 7th Century. Few Arabs were stationed in that province as the rest marched on to the Euphrates valley, the Nile valley , North Africa and Spain. Most of the invaders preferred living in present day Iraq, Egypt and Spain. The caliph who carried most of the expansion, Omar bin el Khattab, retired to Mecca where he is buried.
The Canaanites and Philistines , who are the ancestors of the present day Palestinians, were living in that region long before the Israelite tribes wandered in there, during their stay there, and after they wandered back out. Furthermore most of the present day Israelis are Europeans who adopted the Jewish religion and are not related to the ancient Israelites.
The Israelis know this fact very well but do not publicize it because it does not serve their agenda. Jerusalem was a Jebusite Canaanites town long before Jacob and his children passed through there on their way to Egypt.

Rashed:

Dan, may God bless you. I have been reading this site for a long time and alas, i have found a genuine peace lover who advocates real peace, rather than the hate mongers who perpetually fill this pages.

Jerusalem is for all including atheist.

From a JO{KTAN Yid To another PELEG Yid:

AN AWARENESS WHOSE TiME IS COMETH, NOW!

Note: Jacques Berlinerblau hath Plagiarised me Work, and Greg Epstein too!

1st it was the 'Savings & Loan Scandal (80's/90's) , 2nd "Enron" Scandals (90's-001's) ,now 3rd, the MORTGAGE PURCHASE Death by Koreans Development Fund scandal. Hence Evangelicals ,Strike 4 Ye’r out !

Out with McCains!, He stinks!
Down with Bushs!, They are Dirty!
Goodbye Chaneys!.. Pigs w/No Lipstick!

Amazing () No Grace!

Hence Religious Robber BARRoNS & the Industrial Robber Barrons, in SECULAR clothing , via their Evangelical Member hood (skull & bones ,Masons or Fraternal) Congregants [Bush’s, McCains, Romneys, Hagees, Huckabees, Warrens, Lands, Roberts, Grahams, PUEs, Templetons, ….] who steel & then give more to their Organized Religio Mafiosos Leaders to enjoy or Help them, incase the PreApocalyptarians get PUBLiCALLY caught or exposed when or if time comes to repent or get a ‘Slap on the Risk Sentence‘, because one is ‘Saved‘!!!????..

-- Please see Banker John McCain in this Scandal. John McCain's Purpose is to Hide or Distract scrutiny in his buddys "EXECUTiVE , lame duck, so called 'Friend' George W. & Sr. BUSH(s), Chaneys etc.. Did To ENRiCH Their Captains of Industry, who own 70 % of Americas GnP!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five AND

Please see Mass Murdering & Mass Destructor, Captain John McCain Dropping Napalm, before being Shot-Down in ViET NAM , and Killing Kids or Maiming Children & their Familys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev2dEqrN4i0 AND

Please see BORBACHEVs “Green Cross like “Green-Peace” Here: www.gci.ch/ AND

For reminder Please see : ALKASKA PURCHASE here: WWW en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Purchase Soo,

Thank {say SPASEE-VA] Mother/Father Russia for giving Sara Palin, et al a Life! Note: Technically, America, is on STOLEN LAND [Alaska, Mexico War & the Mormon Annexations of, etc..]!

------ iMPORTANT

AMAZiNG () No GRACe!

SH{AME AMERiCAN MORMONS & EViLGELiCALs for Voting for Religio Robber Barrons who attempted to Steal OUR, not Their, SECULAR AMERiCA !

han:

David,
The claim that Persia changed its name to Iran in the 1930's at the suggestion of Hitler or the Nazis is a canard. The name Iran started being used during the Sassanian dynasty (3rd century to 7th century AD) who called their land Iranshahr (land of Iran). The famous Persian epic poet Ferdowsi wrote in the 10th century AD: "If Iran would not exist, may my body not exist!" Iranian stamps in the 19th century use the French word "Perse" in roman alphabet but Iran in Persian writing. The name Persia was started by the ancient Greeks because at the time (6th to 4th centuries BC)the Persians (Pars) were the dominant tribe among Iranian or Indo-European tribes settled on the Iranian Plateau. The Europeans including Orientalists continued using the name. Today Persia or Pars/Fars refers only the province where the Persian Empire started. Iran does mean the land of Aryans which is synonyme with Indo-Europeans. Indo-European or Indo-Iranian tribes of antiquity felt that they part of a larger grouping and shared languistic affinity. As far a Reza Shah is concerned he meerly asked foreign countries to refer to his country by the name Iran by which Iranians always refered to themselves. He also wanted to show that the country was now embarked on a rapid program of modernization. As far as his alleged pro-German sympathies are concerned I think they had more to do with his deep dislike of the British than any anti-semitism. His son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the late Shah) has witten that he was not anti-semitic just anti-British. The same may be true of other Mid-Eastern leaders like Anwar Sadat who was allegeldy pro-German during WWII but later made peace with Israel. When at the beginning of WWII, the Allies pressured Reza Shah to expel all German experts from Iran, he did expel most of them but refused to expel some, including some who were German Jews. So some Jews lived safely in Iran during WWII.

By: JO{KTAn EBERU RACE [not PELEG] for Gridarian Democracy & Trans{finite-Civilization USA, 2013+:

By: JO{KTAn EBERU RACE [not PELEG] for Gridarian Democracy & Trans{finite-Civilization USA, 2013+

Note: JUDEO-JEW(s) are the 1st know [Recorded] TERRORiSTS & Mass Murderers of Aegyptian Babys... hence their (not O.U.R.) "PASSOVER" line via Baby Killings Celebration or evil Holidays!! Something to be Proud of & nerve to call oneself Judeo-Jewish as "god(s)s-Chosen-People!"


Note: Judeo-Ju's, gave ROMOLUS's State Religion & thus Jealously spawned Judeo-Judaism into JUDEO-CHRiSTiANS, like Catholic HiTLER & Catholic STALiN etc.. in order to Enforece the MOST EViL STORY EVER TOLD:, their (not O.U.R.) "DRUNKiN [racist] NOAh Storys & Songs!

Note: If ye think about it, Karl Mark, father of social MENSHiViKism (liberal), not BULSHiViKism (ruthles), was almost 100% correct!

Marc Edward:

ama writes
"I disagree with the notion that Jerusalem, or any part thereof, should be an "international spiritual sanctuary." It is the capital of the Jewish nation, and should be governed by the Jewish people"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does any country in the world recognize an undivided Jeruselem as belonging to Israel? Seems to me the people who have lived in Jeruselem for centuries have a right to live there now. I don't see why European and American Jews have a greater right to live in Jeruselem over people who were born there.
Feel free to keep Jeruselem, but can you do it without taking my money from my pocket to do it? How about you all have your country, but without American welfare? If Israel wants our billions they need to behave better.
Palistine/Israel is not worth one drop of American blood.

Outlaw Torn:

Thank you for writing such a common sense article about the country of Israel. It seems (at least here in the US) that the only people ever given a microphone and allowed to talk about the American-Israeli relationship are the nutjobs that think America and Israel are one and the same.

I, for one, support treating Israel as if it were a foreign country - no special treatment, just as if it were Britain or France or Laos or Niger. The two state solution is the only one that makes sense for all sides to live in peace.

ama:

I disagree with the notion that Jerusalem, or any part thereof, should be an "international spiritual sanctuary." It is the capital of the Jewish nation, and should be governed by the Jewish people. Let us know when you're willing to "internationalize" Paris, London, Athens, Cairo, Damascus, or Beijing, the historic capitals of other peoples. If you're willing to consider that, then we can talk about internationalizing Jerusalem.

Gary E. Masters:

The idea is to have negotiations and decide these questions in negotiations. Why insist that everything be decided ahead of time? And if there will be negotiations and everything will be decided then - why not take a hard line now to enhance the position in the talks?

It is mad to say decide now? For what good reason? Just so people will have no uncertainty in their lives? Sorry. That option is not on the table.

Marc Edward:

American Jerusalemite writes
"You all just don't get. After 2000 years of persecution have you EVER ... EVER heard of a Jew strapping on a suicide belt and blowing up innocent civilians?"

If you are unaware of the terrorist bombing campaign carried out by the Zionists maybe you shouldn't be posting.
Secondly, maybe when the Germans had taken over Poland they ought to have invested in suicide belts. If some group of people stole my home and took over my country, I'd hope I was resisting the occupation as well. Maybe if your city was invaded you'd be helping out the occupying forces.
Oh, and I still contend that "Jews" are no more a "race" than Italians, Irish, or Palestinians.

Mark - you claim Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. You are dead wrong, and your unwillingness to acknowledge you got a basic fact wrong undermines all your other points. Sorry, but you have no credibility what so ever.

Nnow why don't you all explain why the USA needs to keep giving Israel billions in welfare every year? How is it in the US interest?

Agapian:

The point to be made is that no one 'owns' Jerusalem; it has been an oasis for many peoples and may have been a stopover place for the Cro-Magnons migrating from Africa as far back as 70,000 years ago when it was a lush, semi tropical land. That makes it a special Mount for the Human Race, not just for those who are there for a few centuries. The Old City with David's walls should be an international spiritual sanctuary, not a place where every square meter is contested by haters of one kind or another who appear to have a common sociopathic hatred of Humanity. Jerusalem is an international place and should be treated as such, not as occupied territory by one group or another.

The Spiritual Scriptures say that the Hebrews were a 'chosen' people. Chosen for what? Their history as far back as Moses indicates that they should live in the valleys around the Mount and have done so, so taking the land from others is a stretch. The use of Umar's Dhimmi to take land and property from Hebrews by the tribes of Palistine for a thousand years needs some justice as well. 'Palestine' is a Roman word used to describe all of the Aramic (and Arabic) tribes between Aquba in Arabia, Baghdad in the East, and Tarsus in the North. It was never used to describe a nationalist state around Jerusalem until 1967, because there wasn't any; it was simply the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, the most recent occupier.
But the Hebrews keep coming back, possibly because they ARE the chosen people to protect the Mount of Jerusalem as a universal sanctuary for the human spirit? As caretakers of Jerusalem and especially the Old City, the concept of ownership might break down just enough to let peaceful coexistence to actually exist somewhere.

norman ravitch:

What I mean, of course, for the dimwitted here, is that Israel should be no more important for us than say Finland.

norman ravitch:

Ah,, if only were could think about Jerusalem with the total indifference with which we think about Helsinki!

David:

Silly Post: You do live down to your handle, don't you?

"Finally, I recommend you pick up a book and look up what the Arabs brought to Western Europe and how it helped wake it up from the dark ages."

Ok, as I pointed out to the others, go to the library and check out books by Robert Spencer, Bat Yeor and others. Here are a few specifics for all of you to start with:
1) Islam and Dhimmitude, Bat Yeor
2) The Myth of Muslim Tolerance, Robert Spencer (editor)
3) The Truth About Mohammed Robert Spencer
4) Understanding Jihad, David Cook

The Muslims brought jihad to Western Europe. Do not forget that they moved across the Middle East, across Africa and up the Iberian Peninsula, being stopped at Poitiers. Later, they moved from Turkey, up through the Balkans, and were stopped at the gates of Vienna.

Most of the scholars under Muslim rule were either infidels or new converts, and the Christian monks were as important in saving science and history as were the infidels under Muslim rule.

David:

As for the rambling discussion about Jerusalem: Nobody knows who founded Jerusalem or when. While some later parts of the Torah have been proven, it is still a book of cultural mythos.

Archeology has found traces of settlements back 3,000 years, but nobody knows who they are.

There are also discussion about just who the Jews and Canaanites were. Whether there was any real difference. In addition, archeologists think the Hittites were actually from the Anatolean area of Turkey, relegating any Hittite presence in Canaan to outposts.

The simple, provable facts are:
1) The Jewish presence in Jerusalem extends back much further than any extant people
2) The Arab invasion of the region is clearly documented by both Arabs and non-Arabs alike, precluding any claim of links to early peoples near Jerusalem.

Then there's the logic. Why is it ok to claim that Jerusalem is Arab because it was conquered by Arabs, but not ok to say Jerusalem in Jewish because Jews finally took back control from the conquerors?

David:

Anonymous, Han, Edwards continue to spout propaganda.

Edwards, as long as your running from my replies, run from Bat Year, Robert Spencer and others who have studied and heavily documented Muslim treatment of infidels through dhimmitude. Minor things such as:
1) Periodic slaughter of entire Jewish and Christian towns during the Iberian occupation
2) North African Muslims being the first to make Jews wear a distinctive yellow piece of clothing
3) The jizya, wasn't just a small additional tax, it was intentionally onerous to ensure Islam was superior.

And much more. But you'll ignore that just as you ignored the facts I posted while complaining that another person is supposedly factually incorrect.

Han can refer to the same books for the history of Persian/Iranian persecution. The region varied greatly, from acceptance to great persecution. That later, of course, was much more prevalent once Islam took over. In fact, Persia became Iran because the Shah was enamored with Hitler and Iran is "Aryan" in Farsi.

Then there's Han's "The reason Jews can take the high moral road is that for most of history they did not have a state so one does not know how they would have treated minorities." Rather, that 60 years of returned sovereignty has seen Israel keep a strong non-Jewish minority as the nation's grown from 600,000 to 7,000,000. Sure, there's discrimination as in other Western nations, but there aren't the laws against equality and democracy that exist in the Arab world, and most of the Muslim world.

Then there's Anonymous' own selective memory:
1) The King David Hotel was the military headquarters of the occupying army, and the British Parliament finally admitted, in the 90s, that they did receive a warning call
2) The books I mentioned talk about those other "Holocausts" throughout the Muslim world. Others also talk about the Muslims referring to massive amounts of Jews in Galil Valley when they invaded, mentioning 50,000 in Ceasaria alone. They then also documented the almost dearth of Jews only a few years later.
3) "the USA where tolerance has been their cornerstone for success." Rather, it's been pushed by the "liberal elite" over minor objections such as the Civil War, murdered civil rights workers and riots over desegregation

American Jerusalemite:

@ silly post -
1) if you want the facts you can go look them up. i just have the US facts. that is not the point.
but since you asked -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jews


2) I agree that the Arabs helped Europe out of the dark ages. that is true and i give credit to where credit is due unlike you. however, that being said the only thing that the arabs have brought since then is terror.

3)If you want to get into a pissing contest about what the Jews have contributed to humanity and the arts then go right ahead. all you need to know is that the Jews provided the world with a conscience and the idea of one G-d which is now followed today by Christians and Muslims. if it weren't for Jews the whole world would be in the dark ages.

4) i am not spouting hatred. just the facts.

Karma and Beginnings:

AMA

I think the point was that Jeruslam wasn't created by Jews.
(Whereas Athens was created by Athenians: Persepolis by Persians.)

There is a school of thought in claiming something you created.

To just say, oh- Jerusalem was Hitite - and then Kind David took over - so now we have a claim to it; is not strong. Lacks Karma.


Silly Post:

NOBEL PRIZE and JEWS
(and "American Jerusalemite)

Thanks for posting the Jews with Nobel Wins.
You're still not letting people know the resources of which gentile country helped create those wins.

You are cherry-picking. You call them Jewish, without naming the nation that provided them with the opportunity to foster such achievement.

Plus, when the Arabs brought Mathematics (Europe had Roman Numerals before Arabic Numerals were introduced) and Medicine to Europe:

Algebra
Algorithm
Avicenna

There were no "Nobel Prizes."
Without the above advances, your Jewish winners wouldn't even know where to begin.

My point is giving credit where it's due.

Please provide the list of which nations' those Jewish Nobel winners come from. The Economy and Education of those nations are being ignored.

Finally, I recommend you pick up a book and look up what the Arabs brought to Western Europe and how it helped wake it up from the dark ages.

But to educate yourself, instead of spouting Zioinist hatred - gosh, that would be a stretch!

ama:

Paradise states that "The point isn't where these Hitites are now. The point is that Jerusalem belonged to others (Hitites) before King David took over the city." That appears to be true, of course. But none of those "others", including the Hittites, exist as a people today. So no existing peoples have a claim to Jerusalem that is prior to that of the Jewish people. In addition to its first-in-time priority, the Jewish people lived in Jerusalem as the majority population for approximately 900 years, from David until the Roman conquest, and governed the city for much of that time. The point is that no other people has a claim to Jerusalem comparable to that of the Jewish people.

Mark:

Mark Edwards:
You certainly have the right to diasagree with me, but I would think a civil tone would be in order. I have not commented about your sources (nor lack thereof), though I believe that you are sorely mistaken about your "facts".
Regarding the Jews of Mashad - I happen to know the story, because my partner's family are all from Mashad. In previous generations, in order to protect the secret of their true Jewish faith, they married off the children between the Jewish families (who were all related) so that if a Moslem would ask to marry a girl, they would be able to say "no, she is already promised to so and so". Many of the extended family are married to their own cousins. Makes for very interesting genealogy. But a quick glance at Wikipedia may provide some "facts" for you. I daresay that if you were in the least interested to learn something new, you might Google "Mashad" and "Jews" - I came up with 15,800 responses.
As to the nominally democratic republic of Lebanon which is currently a puppet of Syria which is a puppet of Iran - I don't know - let's ask the Lebanese Christians what they think. I seem to recall that they had a hell of time recently getting the Syrians to allow them to hold elections for a president just this past year, but yes - you are correct - very "democratic"!
Oh and I particulary like the "game set match u lose" part.

American Jerusalemite:

@ Basta - yes you are right.

@ CIao Baby - so? yes Arabs are semites as well.

@ Space - yes most of the Jewish Noble prize winners went to school in non-Jewish nations. what is your point? They are of the Jewish faith and they are citizens of the country that they live in. You think the KKK or anti-semites give a damn?

The First Woman in Space? (First Female Tourist in Space):
Iranian- American - that is actually really cool. you think she would've had the same opportunity in Iran? No I don't think so.

BTW - having served in the 1st CAV in and being a disabled vet, i have the class and honor of saying that i served in the US military. don't ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country - JFK

Here you go -
Chemistry (29 prize winners, 19% of world total, 28% of US total)
Economics (25 prize winners, 41% of world total, 55% of US total)
Literature (13 prize winners, 13% of world total, 27% of US total)
Peace (9 prize winners, 9% of world total, 10% of US total)3
Physics (47 prize winners, 26% of world total, 38% of US total)
Physiology or Medicine (53 prize winners, 28% of world total, 41% of US total)

Jewish Recipients of the US National Medal of Science (166 recipients, 38% of total)

BASTA:

"American Jerusalemite"

I get it:
JEW good
ARAB bad.

(Even though 3 x more Palestinian women and children have died in these past 60 years than Jewish innocents.)

3 to 1 means nothing to you.

One of those Jewish Nobel Winners has programmed you permanently to say:
ARAB bad
JEW good

Silly - very silly.

Ciao BABY!:

"American Jerusalemite" -
You clearly are a red-neck as you don't know that
"Anti-Semitic" includes those same Arabs you constantly ridicule.

Clearly, as someone said before, you do not come from among those astonishingly high number of Jewish Nobel Winners.

American Jerusalemite:

@Anonymous - selective memory?? did any Jews commit suicide? you didn't answer my question? also, it is against Jewish law to commit suicide unlike in Islam where it is praised. oh by the way, the Jews called the hotel and warned them before hand. the brits didn't want to listen. and that's the best you can come up with? 1 event in 2000 years? i can name hundreds by palestinians in just the last 10 years! how about their murdering of the Israeli olympic team in '72. I am sure you will try to justify that someway right? Jews will always choose life over death.

who is gloating? you still don't get it. we focus on education. that is the whole point of my noble prize comment. you might take it as gloating because of your inferiority complex. you just hate to see Jews succeed. you probably think the same about Hispanics and African-Americans. Hey, when are you going to give the land back to the Native Americans that you stole?

SPACE:

"American Jerusalemite"

If you stopped ranting you would've read some responses to the claims that Jews get such disproportionate Nobel Prizes.

Here goes again:

A Jew who grew up in the UK and went to University in Cambridge UK, lived all their life in the UK - that noble prize has centuries of British cultivation in it, too.
By claiming it belongs to the Jew, and ignoring the UK and Cambridge University - is the selective racism that causes hatred in this world.

Stop your Selective Racism.
I hope you have calmed down enough to get that 23% list - and tell me how many were from folks who got their education in non-Jewish nations. Like Russia, Germany, the UK, the US.

I would then post a message apologising to those nations for so blatantly ignoring them for educating and funding your winner.

Oh - this will make you scream, the racist in you, I mean:

The First Woman in Space? (First Female Tourist in Space):
IRANIAN Iranian- American in fact:
I have the class to mention the fact that she was trained in these great United States.

Anonymous:

SELECTIVE MEMORY?

Jews BLEW UP the Kind David Hotel when creating Israel.

Good god, for all the Nobel Winning Gloating you guys do - your selective memory of History is astonishing. Some would call it racist.

Blowing yourself up is wrong.
Pointing fingers at others while having done the same is shameful.

American Jerusalemite:

You all just don't get. After 2000 years of persecution have you EVER ... EVER heard of a Jew strapping on a suicide belt and blowing up innocent civilians? have you ever heard of a Jew crashing planes into buildings? or blowing up trains or buses? come on people get real. we focus on education while arab muslims focus on murder. open your eyes!

you still don't get it and nobody has answered my question! how is that less than 1% of the world's population has won 23% of the noble prizes??? any answer besides your hate filled rantings?

@ Anonymous - oh by the way, my great-grandfather was beheaded in Iraq. Why? Because he was a Jew. Jews were still at the mercy of their Muslim overloards. Holocaust was a European phenomenon but that doesn't mean that Muslims were goody-to-shoes.

@ Marc Edward - anti-semitism = racism. get a clue. and no we are not like rednecks or
I-talians.

@ Gloating - yes we receive aid but so does Egypt at $1 billion a year. did you see any Jews fly planes into the WTC? No! in the end who gets the $$ from countries like Israel and Egypt? The US bonehead. THere are stipulations and those being that Israel needs to spend the money on US products. THat $$ probably goes into your paycheck if you look closely enough.

Paradise:

"THE SEED OF TAKEOVER"

The point isn't where these Hitites are now.
The point is that Jerusalem belonged to others (Hitites) before King David took over the city.

The emphasis is here the fact that there are certain places in this World that were created by their indigenous peoples - Athens by the Athenians; Persepolis by the Persians.

Jerusalem does not have that same claim and relation with the Jews. In its seed is the circumstance of forceful takeover.

That is my point.
To the commentator who asks me: "So, where are the Hitites now" - I can only respond by saying that clearly you are not one of those Jewish Nobel Winners someone was bragging about, as you don't understand the concept being presented.

ama:

Anonymous states that "But Jerusalem started life as belonging to non-Jews, the Hittites." Okay, so the Hittite claim to Jerusalem is prior to that of the Jews. Where would we find these Hittites, so that negotiations can begin?

Anonymous:

"HAN":
EUROPEAN HOLOCAUST - Where are the Jewish Nobel Winners Analyising that?

Your forget to mention that for all the Arab-Bashing; the Jews can't name a single HOLOCAUST, or POGROM, where entire populations were burned in village squares - outside of the same Europe that they are suddenly conveniently forgetting for having inflicted crimes.

I'm not saying paying more tax under Islam was fun - or that there wouldn't have been racist incidents - but RULERSHIP SANCTIONED HOLOCAUSTS - did not occur in the same Persian and Arab lands whom the Jews are now stabbing and beeding to death.

It's very ignorant for a group with so many claims to Nobel Prizes as one of the posters put it.

Anonymous:

2000 Years ago I used to skip around in what's now your back yard.
GIVE IT BACK!!! I WANT MY YARD BACK!!

Infantile argument for creating a nation.
2000 years ago - the Romans were bathing in glorious cities all over the UK - ex. "Bath" - but no Italian is whining about losing 2000 years ago.
No Italian will put all of Europe in a refugee camp - "because I was ruling over these lands, 2000 years ago."

Go win some Nobel Prizes. But stop trying to Govern.

han:

To all the above Persia/Iran bashers, here are some facts:
-King Cyrus of Persia put an end to the Babylonian captivity and allowed the Jews to return home.
- Persia had two jewish queens: Esther and Shushandokht.
- The tombs of Esther, Mordocai and the reputed tomb of the prophet Daniel are all in Iran and well-kept and respected. Many muslims go to pilgrimage to the tomb of Daniel.
- There are still 25,000 jews in Iran. Life in Iran is not easy these days even for Muslims. But if Jews were systematically persecuted and exterminated, why are they still staying?
- The jewish community has had a member in the Iranian Parliament since 1906, and Judaism is a recognized religion. They still have a member of Parliament even under the Islamic Republic.
- The Iranian Embassy in London during WWII issued numerous Iranian passeports to European Jews so that they could escape the Nazis. It is said to have saved 5000 children.
- Dhimitude was a medieval practice. It has not been followed in Iran since the mid 19th century. Anyway the idea that all men should be treated equally started in the Enlightenment and was first enshrined in the U.S. constitution and Bill of Rights. before that no one treated minorities with complete equality.
- The reason Jews can take the high moral road is that for most of history they did not have a state so one does not know how they would have treated minorities. By the way, did King David treat his minorities with perfect equality? How did ancient Jews treat the Philistines, the Samaritans, the Canaanites, etc.? With perfect equality.
- Until at least WWI many Jewish families prefered living in Muslim lands than in Christian lands. I just finished reading a book called the Orientalist about Jewish family who moved to Baku from Tiblisi in the early 20th century because they felt more at ease living and working in a predominantly Muslim city.
No, this hate of Persians, and the desire to attack Iran no matter what the consequences is either rational nor fair.

Anonymous:

2 STATE SOLUTION IS STILL RACIST TO ME:
JERUSALEM WASN'T CREATED BY THE JEWS.
V.
ATHENS, WAS CREATED BY THE ATHENIANS.
PERSEPOLIS, BY THE PERSIANS.

So, the whole argument has Bad Karma. You can't own something you never created.

Just because someone is listing how the Balkans have also had to be split up - doesn't condone the concept.
Thanks for your list.

Thanks for omitting great nations like the USA where tolerance has been their cornerstone for success.

Why don't you aspire to great nations - rather than want to emulate war zones?

By the Way - the Holy Land was never ethnically divided.
I could almost sympathize if it had been - I wouldn't like it and still think it not aspirational - but I would empathize.

And even your Kind David took it over from others.
Again, if it was like Athens, that was built by the Athenians, or Persepolis that was built by the Persians - I would almost be able to understand.

But Jerusalem started life as belonging to non-Jews, the Hitites. So the whole thing lacks what the Indians call good Karma.


Marc Edward:

American Jerusalemite writes
"I am not saying Jews are better than everyone else. All I am saying is that with less than 1% of the world population, Jews have accounted for 23% of the Nobel Prize winners. HOw do you explain that??? Well, we don't strap our kids with suicide bombs but rather with books"

1) Zionist Jews loved carrying out terrorist attacks. You are rather ignorant of history.
2) You seem to be arguing that Jews are a superior "Master Race". Sorry, but Jews are no more a "race" than Italians or Rednecks.
3) Your Nobel Prize standard isn't much good, unless you're saying Arafat was as smart as the smartest Jew who ever lived. Why not compare Nobel prizes won by European Jews vs. Russian Jews vs. American Jews? Or Polish Jews vs. German Jews? Your argument is as silly as it is meaningless.

BTW, if the Israelis are so smart and tough, why do they need billions of dollars in American provided welfare?
Better luck next time!

Same old crap:

By the way, if there are so many brilliant Jews contributing to society and winning just about every academic achievement there is to be won, why do they still believe in Judaism?
Are you ready for a harsh reality that you will not want to hear? There is no difference between Scientology, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam?
Its all a bunch of mythological hocus pocus. Get your facts straight.

GLOATING:

Jews getting all the Noble Prizes.
That's implying others are stupid. Jews the best - and please don't bring in "at least we're not blowing ourselves up" - that's just certain Palestinians etc.
How about the way you're insulting the rest of the World's populations?
PLUS, the majority of these winners were out of Western countries - so it's OK if you milk the gentile's educational systems - but not OK to mention them and you just cut right into claiming the whole prize for yourself?

The real comparison would be Israelis - at a time when they were not receiving $Billions of US tax payer aid - winning Nobel Prizes.

Even then - that is not how I compare myself with the World.
Comparing has at its seed the idea of "Me different to You" and the day the Jews figure that out, the day they will have peace.

The real honor is when you don't gloat. The hypocrisy is when you use gentile resources to achieve success and claim it all as your own.


What?:

Hey american jerusalemite,

You are absolutely saying that Jews are better than everyone else. There is no other way to spin what you have been saying. Just because you say that you're not trying to claim to be the best doesn't mean that you're not claiming it. Sit back and think about what you are typing.
You must be delusional to think that people on this thread are that stupid.

American Jerusalemite:

I am not saying Jews are better than everyone else. All I am saying is that with less than 1% of the world population, Jews have accounted for 23% of the Nobel Prize winners. HOw do you explain that??? Well, we don't strap our kids with suicide bombs but rather with books.

Solution:

Stop any and all aid to the Israeli and Palestinian people immediately. It is insulting to me as an educated professional that so much of our resources are going towards a country that is stuck in a prolonged battle with its neighbors over a piece of dry, barren land that only matters to people because several books of "history" claim its importance. Especially since these religions are nothing more than fantastical stories collected and changed repeatedly by normal men claiming to be talking to God.
Why doesn't God just come tell everyone what he wants done with his holy land and settle this issue once and for all? He spoke to people all the time back in the day, why not now? But I guess all you "informed" people know the answer to that already.
I am angered that even one penny of my taxes might go towards either side of the Jerusalem joke.

Marc Edward:

Mark writes
"Tokugawa, Marc Edwards:
Jews enjoyed the "protected status" of "dhimmis" - second class citizens, so long as whoever happened to be ruling at the time saw fit. In 19th century Persia, in Mashad, Jews were forced to convert to Islam, or were put to death. Much like the famous "conversos" of Spain who kept their faith in secret, so did the Jews of Mashad."

Uhm, I'd really like a citation because your other posts are rather full of factual errors.
Oh, and you need a better source for your facts.
What kind of government do they have in Lebanon?
Is it in the middle east?

game
set
match
u lose


David:

Sickening Racism:

If you truly believe that "TWO STATE Solution is Racist", then openly state that you think:
1) Yugoslavia should be rebuilt
2) Czechoslovakia should have never been broken up
3) The Syrian Mandate should have never been split into Lebanon and Syria
4) The Soviet Union breaking up was a great mistake
5) Pakistan and Bangladesh should rejoin India

And speak to all the other nations that meet the same criteria.

Or admit that you classify Israel differently from every other nation soley because it's the single Jewish majority nation.

David:

Asim tows the jihad line.

"The so called 'israel' is a racist, apartheid,miltaristic,occupying,exclucvist jewish Theocracy RPT Theocracy not Democrcay."

Israel has a 20% non-Jewish minority, with 18% Arab. Almost all Muslim nations are judenrein, while the Pals demand that no Jews exist in the area they want, yet Asim claims Israel's racist?

Many Muslims nations openly encode Sharia law, while the OIC, which represents 57 Muslim nations, says the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not good because it doesn't bow to the preeminence of Islam and Sharia. Israel has equality of all religions. Yet Israel's the Theocracy?

As for Apartheid, Asim clearly doesn't comprehend what Apartheid was. His madras must not have taught him.

"There is no Room Rpt no Room or resources left for a Palestine state". Really? There's lots of room. As an example:
1) 20 km: Distance between Malle Adumim and the Jordan River
2) 10 km: Distance between the Armistice line and the Mediterranean

Note how 20 km is "no room" while he and his fellow Muslims claim 10 km is just fine.

"historic Arab Palestine". where would that be? Show me a map of historic Palestine and its capital. In fact, Arabs said Palestine was a British invention and the land should be part of Greater Syria.

"The only solution is one secular democratic state for Arabs (Christians and Muslims) and jews", first, show me a secular Arab State with full and equal citizenship for people of all religions.

"who lived in historic Palestine on or before 1914/WW1", funny. So the Muslim rulers who invaded, killed most of the Jews and limited others from returning get to define what Jews can be in the "democratic" State. Right...

"Palestine has been Arab for the past Five Thousand years", even though the Arabs clearly documented their own invasion of the land in the 7th and 8th Centuries.

"JEws were a passing marginal phenomenon in the histroy of Palestine." Ahh, that's why we were constantly mentioned by invaders for more than 3,000 years, while they, somehow, never seemed to mention Arabs until you followed Mohammed's instructions and invaded.

"All colonial settler entities vanish", so when will the Arabs leave Israel, North Africa and elsewhere, and go home to the Arabian Peninsula from where your invading colonialists came?

Poor jihadist, your madras has neither taught you history nor how to debate.

Mark:

Tokugawa, Marc Edwards:
Jews enjoyed the "protected status" of "dhimmis" - second class citizens, so long as whoever happened to be ruling at the time saw fit. In 19th century Persia, in Mashad, Jews were forced to convert to Islam, or were put to death. Much like the famous "conversos" of Spain who kept their faith in secret, so did the Jews of Mashad.
No Jews in Saudi Arabia - because no "infidels" are allowed.
Damascus in 1840 - Jews were accussed of killing someone to use his blood for making matzos for Passover.
I don't know that I would want to be in a Moslem country, where the Koran proscribes killing infidels (including Jews), and calls Jews "the sons of apes and pigs".
Yes, over the course of 2000 years Jews have enjoyed some periods of respite from persecution. In the 20th century, a Jew became the foreign minister of one of the greatest powers of the time - Germany. I refer to Walter Rathenau, who was assassinated in 1922. And we know what happend to Jews there after that.
The US is probably the greatest country in the world today and I would not denigrate it. Moreover, the lives of many of my family were saved when they were allowed to emigarate to the US from Germany in the 1930's. As much as I love the US, I never felt at home there. It is not "my" homeland. The overriding culture and mind-set is Christian. The US is not the land that my ancestors have prayed to for 2000 years. Jewish prayers which are offered several times a day, for the last 2000 years or so, include Jerusalem - "Zion" - including supplications to return the Jews to Zion. The Irish have Ireland, the Japanes have Japan - the Jews have Israel. Why can every people on the planet have a country, except the Jews?
Our country is not perfect, there is a double standard towards Arabs in Israel. But in Israel we had the Orr Commission to investigate. If 12 Jews had been killed in an Arab country, the killers would have been awarded medals. Happens all the time when a terrorist blows up a bus.
By the way - the Arabs who were killed in the events you describe, were rioting, and some of them were armed.
I stand by my assertion that Arabs have full rights - although I agree that the implementation is often far from perfect and leaves much to be desired. By the way - Arabs in Israel often have more rights than Arabs in Arab countries.

The Damascus blood libel was under the Ottomans.
And yes - you are correct - Jews have been living in Jerusalem for 2000 years, which is one of the reasons that we don't have to revert to the Bible (though I have no problem with that either)for justification. They also lived in Hebron for over 2000 years. Until the Arabs massacred them in 1929. And what I said was that between 1948 and 1967, no Jews were allowed in Jerusalem - I was referring to the Old City of Jerusalem, I assumed that was self-evident. Ditto Hebron.

David:

Marc Edward seems to love denial and ignorance.

"Jews are perfectly welcome here in the USA." Yeah, as long as we know our place.

"The Ottoman Empire (and yes, it was Islamic) was tolorant of other religions", only if you consider dhimmitude, the ritual denegration of non-Muslims according to Sharia, "tolerance". In fact, European diplomats spent much time trying to get more freedom for Christians in the Empire, as their persecution was well documented.

"Isreal is not the only democracy in the Middle East" Yes, Israel is. Check www.freedomhouse.org

"Israel is not surrounded by 22 muslim countries. You ought to look at a map." The Arab League, still officially in a State of War against Israel's existence, has 22 members. Two have made peace. Meanwhile, if you check http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/middleeast.html or any other map, you'll see Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbajan, Turkmenistan and other, non-Arab, Muslim States are very close.

"Moreover Israel has about the 3rd or 4th largest military budget in the world". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_federations_by_military_expenditures
Israel is number 20, and none of the higher nations have multiple nations who have declared and waged war against its existence for 60 years.

"Fearing for Israel's safety is just silly." Though the leaders of Iran have openly declared both that Israel should be destroyed and the first good Islamic nation to get nukes should use them on Israel since nukes could destroy the tiny nation but Israel couldn't destroy all the Muslim ones.

"Claiming that jews couldn't visit Jeruselem for 2000 years is silly. Jews had been living there for 2000+ years!" That person was silly, but you're ignorant. Jews have been banned from Jerusalem by Romans, Christians and Muslims during that 2000 years, most recently from 1948 until 1967.

"Given your shoddy knowledge of the facts," you're one to talk?

"Zionist brigades helping the British wipe out the Palestinian resistance to British occupation." Wrong again. During Arab riots in the 20s and 30s, the Brits actively helped the Arabs, only arresting Jews who tried to defend Jews. British pilots led the Egyptian Air Force in '48, while the Lebanese army was led by British Officers.

"European, Russian and American Jews have no more right to Jeruselem than native Americans or Armenians have a right to Israel." Really? That takes an ignorance of recent genetic studies. also, you must think the indigenous people kept from returning lose their right to the invaders? You must be against rights for Indigenous Americans and think the Armenian genocide was a hoax, right?

ama:

Asim, San Antonio states that "The only solution is one secular democratic state for Arabs (Christians and Muslims) and [J]ews who lived in historic Palestine on or before 1914/WW1 . . . ." Does that mean that Arabs who came to Palestine during the British Mandate would not be welcome in the proposed secular democratic state?

Asim, San Antonio:


The so called "israel" is a racist, apartheid,miltaristic,occupying,exclucvist jewish Theocracy RPT Theocracy not Democrcay.

There is no Room Rpt no Room or resources left for a Palestine state-the jews devoured and stolen all of historic Arab Palestine-all of it.

The only solution is one secular democratic state for Arabs (Christians and Muslims) and jews who lived in historic Palestine on or before 1914/WW1 who numbered no more than 12,000 twelve thousand Arab Jews-all the rest are illegal immigrants sumggled by the British mandate and the jewish agency-and should pack up and go back to their homelands.

Palestine has been Arab for the past Five Thousand years and Canaanite Arabs settled it and built Jersualem-Yabous-at that time.

JEws were a passing marginal phenomenon in the histroy of Palestine. Even occupiers such as Romans/Byzantines who occupied Palestine for one thousand years were evicted by Arab Muslims in the 7th century AD and liberated it for ever.

All colonial settler entities vanish:where is Nuclear apartheid white South Africa now?? Which was by the way an intimate friend of the jewish apartheid theocracy.

jews in Palestine never felt and will never feel secure because they know they are sitting on STOLEN LAND and occupying a whole people.

Anonymous:

The so called "israel" is a racist, apartheid,miltaristic,occupying,exclucvist jewish Theocracy RPT Theocracy not Democrcay.

There is no Room Rpt no Room or resources left for a Palestine state-the jews devoured and stolen all of historic Arab Palestine-all of it.

The only solution is one secular democratic state for Arabs (Christians and Muslims) and jews who lived in historic Palestine on or before 1914/WW1 who numbered no more than 12,000 twelve thousand Arab Jews-all the rest are illegal immigrants sumggled by the British mandate and the jewish agency-and should pack up and go back to their homelands.

Palestine has been Arab for the past Five Thousand years and Canaanite Arabs settled it and built Jersualem-Yabous-at that time.

JEws were a passing marginal phenomenon in the histroy of Palestine. Even occupiers such as Romans/Byzantines who occupied Palestine for one thousand years were evicted by Arab Muslims in the 7th century AD and liberated it for ever.

All colonial settler entities vanish:where is Nuclear apartheid white South Africa now?? Which was by the way an intimate friend of the jewish apartheid theocracy.

jews in Palestine never felt and will never feel secure because they know they are sitting on STOLEN LAND and occupying a whole people.

tokugawa:

Mark wrote:

"Jews have never been very welcome in any of the other countries"

False. When the Jews were expelled from Spain, they were welcomed in Muslim countries. Islam has a special protected class for Jews. Only with the advent of Zionism, whose goal is expelling all non-Jews from Palestine, has relations with Muslims collapsed into open warfare.


"There is only one country where the Jews can live without fear of persecution"

False. Besides Israel, there is currently no persecution of Jews in the United States, where Jews are serving as Governors, Senators, and, at one time, Supreme Court justices.

Also, while Jews don't fear persecution in Israel, they do fear terrorist violence, a fact of life in Palestine since terrorism was so effectively used by Irgun and the Stern Gang in achieving Israeli independence in 1948. Remember Deir Yassin? Remember also that Jewish terrorists assassinated U.N. mediator Folke Bernadotte in 1948. His crime? Attempting to bring peace to Palestine by implementing the U.N. partition resolution.

While the Jews were happy with the U.N. partition resolution, they did not intend to ever let Jerusalem become an internationalized city. Like the Munich agreement, and in violation of the U.N.’s own requirement of self-determination, the partition resolution imposed an outcome for Palestine without the vote of the people living there.


"By the way - over 10% of Israel's population is Arab, with full rights."

False. The Israeli Orr Commission investigated the killings of 12 Israeli Arabs by Israeli Security forces after the disturbances created by Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in the fall of 2000. The conclusion of that commission was that the 12 Israeli Arabs were not part of a disturbance when they were killed, and in fact they were murdered in cold blood by Israeli Security forces. The Israeli judicial system has failed to indict any of the 12 murderers, and in fact they kept their security jobs and even received promotions. None of the recommendations of the Orr Commission have been implemented. In truth, Arabs in Israel have no rights, and the goal of many hard core Zionists in Israel is to expel all non-Jews, even those who are Israeli citizens. Also, many hard core Zionists would like the boundaries of Israel to be the Nile river in the west, and the Persian gulf in the east. Why has Israel never defined its borders? Answer: so Israel could continue to expand.

Marc Edward:

Mark, you claim that Jews have never been welcome in other countries. That's absolute hogwash. Jews are perfectly welcome here in the USA. The Ottoman Empire (and yes, it was Islamic) was tolorant of other religions while the Europeans were throwing their Jews to the wolves. You might do a little research and see that there have been Jews in Jeruselem pretty much forever - they didn't all move there in the 20th century!
Also you have a few points wrong
- Isreal is not the only democracy in the Middle East
- Israel is not surrounded by 22 muslim countries. You ought to look at a map. Moreover Israel has about the 3rd or 4th largest military budget in the world, alogn with nuclear weapons. Fearing for Israel's safety is just silly.
- Claiming that jews couldn't visit Jeruselem for 2000 years is silly. Jews had been living there for 2000+ years!

Given your shoddy knowledge of the facts, maybe you ought to do more reading on BOTH SIDES of the issue. I used to be rather pro-Israel myself, until I learned how Israel was created. Zionist terrorists bombing civilians, Zionist brigades helping the British wipe out the Palestinian resistance to British occupation....you can pretend that it's "poor little Israel" all you want, but nobody has clean hands in this, especially not the Zionists. European, Russian and American Jews have no more right to Jeruselem than native Americans or Armenians have a right to Israel.

Mark:

There can never be a "one state" solution. A "one state" solution for Jews is another "Final Solution"! The "one state" solution is the newest mantra to dismantle Israel, by sheer demographics.
There are 22 Moslem countries in the Middle East and then some more further east and in Africa. There are Catholic countries - such as Ireland, Italy, Poland, most of South America, etc. There are Lutheran countries, there is even a Church of England country! There are numerous other Christian countries. There is one Jewish country, it is very small. Look at a map. Chances are that unless you are looking at a relatively large scale, you will not even see it. Jews have never been very welcome in any of the other countries - not by Moslems, not by Catholics, Lutherans, nor by Eastern Orthodox or any other Christians. Two thousand years of persecution. You didn't want us in Poland, Russia, Germany (no more Jews, except those who left Russia), England (no Jews for 300 years, Spain (no Jews for 500 years), Saudi Arabia (no Jews ever). There is only one country where the Jews can live without fear of persecution, and we are not about to start sharing that little sliver of land with a bunch who not only declare that they want to throw us into the sea, they can't even get their own house in order!
By the way - over 10% of Israel's population is Arab, with full rights. How many Jews do you think the Palestinians will allow to continue living in Palestine? How many Jews are there in Gaza? Zero. (Sorry - one - Gilad Shalit, and he's not there by choice, but was kidnapped - from inside Israel.) So who's racist?

Sickening Racism:

IF YOU WANT RACISM TO STOP - STOP BEING RACIST.

TWO STATE Solution is Racist.
One for Jews one for Arabs.
If they can't live together, both should leave.

We fought tooth and nail to keep the US a Democratic and tolerant country.
We put an end to Apartheid, here.
For the US to then support lack of tolerance elsewhere, is foolish and will come back to bite us in the behind.

The thing that disgusts me most is people like some lister below - who see themselves as different to other members of the human race. Jews got noble prizes, Jews are better, Jews blah-blah.

If you want racism to stop - stop being racist.

CM:

A 'Two-State' solution is not the only solution. There is another solution. A 'One' State solution, in terms of which the lands of Israel and Palestine are part of one unitary democratic state in which all people living within that state are full and equal citizens. An undivided Jerusalem may be the capital of such a state.

Mark:

To Anonymous:
While it is true that Israel has no written constitution per se, (and I fail to see what point that proves), neither does the UK. When I was studying law, I learned that the finest constitution written was that of the USSR. I wonder what kind of constitutions any of the Arab or Moslem countries have and if they meet with your approval.
What Israel does have, is a democratic system of representation, including about 15 (out of 120) Arab members of Knesset (parliament), some of whom are very outspoken in their criticism of Israel and its policies, including to the point that they call for dismantling the country as we know it. Stuff that would easily be sedition in even the most liberal and democratic of countries and would be an instantaneous execution in any Arab country.
Israel also has a series of "Basic Laws" which are considered as having the effect of a constitution and when legislation will be completed, it is expected that these laws will be the constitution.
Moreover, since 1967, residents of the West Bank have had unencumbered recourse to the Israeli High Court of Justice as well as the entire justice system, and they have taken great advantage of it. This is not a foregone conclusion, since it is generally not accepted legal doctrine that residents of occupied territories have recourse to the courts of the occupying power. The courts by the way, come under constant criticism by the left and right in Israel, clear proof they are doing their job.
Israel has universal suffrage - how many countries in this neck of the woods can claim that? Discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual preferences or any other basis - is illegal. While it is true that there is in fact less than perfect equality, nonetheless it is a society that values equality and fairness and strives for it and it is the law.
There is no capital punishment in Israel, except for Nazis, and in 60 years, it was used only once (Eichman). Compare that to our neighbors hanging people in the square for crimes such as "licentious behavior" (i.e. adultery). How about "honor killings", when an Arab family disapproves of the company the daughter keeps? And that bit about "there are no homosexuals" in Iran? Certainly not after they were hung up in the town square!
By the way - now that Israel is putting the barrier up between the West Bank and Israel - and quite to the contrary of some of the arguments here - it pretty much sticks to the 1967 border, with some adjustments due to facts on the ground - there are a lot of West Bank Arabs who are trying to get inside the fence (i.e. into Israel) and to establish legal residence. They would rather be second class residents in Israel, than first class citizens in Palestine. Sad.
Also sad that the Palestinians have not made any effort at building any kind of state, neither in the West Bank, nor in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has completely left.

Slave of G-d:

I am a muslim but I agree with my jewish brothers and sisters. My jewish brothers and sisters won the land fair and square!!!
To the muslims. you should not have started the fight! Now do not be a cry baby. Get back to the basics of your religon and G-d may have mercy on you the same way he brought the jews back to the land. With all these kings and princes' and money worshiping leaders (ie Communist Arafat and others!!!!!!) what have they done to facilitate a better atmospher for progress and to make life easy for their peopel? NOthing...
So get over it muslims. Since we could not do anything, at least LET,the best educated, best experienced, group (ie my JEWISH brothers and sister) have a chance!
Go ISRAEAL.
G-D be with you!!!!!

David:

Christianpatriot:

Do you realize how ignorant you are to claim he is "not a bloodline decendants of Abraham, but a European who chose..."?

Modern DNA evidence has shown that most Jews share DNA at a statistically significant level of difference from other people. Even more, self identifying Cohenim also show a distinct link even tighter than "just" Jewish.

However, since you then descend into truly ignorant replacement theology, I'm sure that science is something you avoid.

David:

Too bad the author has no sense to go with his ability to string sentences together.

I too am a US & Israeli citizen. I find his statement that "Only with the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital..." will there be peace. Too bad he neglected any facts to support that fantasy.

Fatah and Hamas have founding documents calling for Israel's destruction, not for acceptance and a shared capital.

The Arabs controlled the disputed territories and East Jerusalem 1948-67. No State. No capital.

Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim nation, and the demand never popped up until the Arabs lost control in '67.

Ramallah has worked "well" for the fractured and graft ridden organization that is the PA, why shouldn't it continue.

Of course, the author also ignores the most important point: What is Jerusalem. The arguments tend to be over the Old City, though it's typically presented as an argument over the much larger modern city.

Most Israelis think that cutting the Arab suburbs out and letting them be part of yet another judenrien Arab nation is acceptable. However, we also overwhelmingly demand the Old City remain under complete Israeli control, as that's the only way to protect the rights of all the religions there.

norman ravitch:

The Jews lost Jerusalem in 70AD because for a decade they had been engaged in suicidal struggle against the invincible Roman Empire. Josephus spent his days observing that Jewish messianism was very dangerous for the survival of the Jews. Jews would do better to forget Jerusalem. Christians should forget it also, since it was the scene of their alleged saviour's death. As for Muslims, there is really no reason for them to give a fig about El Quds, as they call the city. Give it back to the Jebusites if you can find any.

American Jerusalemite:

@Christianpatriot

1) criticism of Israel is acceptable but not racism. there is a difference.

2) you do not know me and no i am not European, read my earlier posts. i am iraqi.

3) i am just trying to show you how ridiculous it is to think that a minority so small (less than 1%) can have such a huge impact in american foreign policy. it is ridiculous to think such way therefore I play on your fears. read my earlier posts

4) I admire your love of your religion however I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong. G-d can not change his mind and make christians his chosen people after he annointed the Jews. Why? I will not try to explain but it goes against his essence. Read Maimonides and then get back to me.

Christianpatriot:

American Jerusalimite:

You do realize that you are not a bloodline decendants of Abraham, but a European who chose Judaism as your religion. Those "Jews" who live in Israel are not blood line decendant members of any of the 12 tribes of Israel, you are entitled to nothing as far as land goes. Any real Christian knows that real Christians are now Abrahams offspring, GOD's chosen people, and we owe nothing to Israel or any of the fake Jews who stole that land from the Philistines. Stop buying our countries leaders, stop causing our government to shed blood on your behalf. Go take care of yourself if you are so able, you are no better than anyone else, and shame on your attempt to make all non-"Jews" feel inferior. We will see how long it takes for someone to say this is anti-semitic, which is what is always said when someone criticizes Israel or Jews.

American Jerusalemite:

@ Anonymous -

Anonymous that has got to be the most ridiculous, anti-semetic remark I have ever heard. Why don't you say the same about Chinese Americans who sell weapons secrets to China all the time. Not a day goes by without someone getting caught. The best you can do is come up with the Pollard affair?

but seriously, how do you fell knowing that a population of less than 1% can control American foreign policy? if you think that then we Jews should be proud!!
YES!!! we have done it! we control the world. 6 million Jews of 250 million in the great USA control the hearts and minds of everyone!

if only we were so lucky!

Marc Edward:

Nice thoughts, but haven't the Isrealis made a 2 state solution impossible, and also made a one state solution impossible? The recent governments have done all they could to make the situation with the Palestinians worse. Certainly Arafat was an egotistical fool who threw out a great oppurtunity for peace, but in the wake of his death Israel has not behaved any better.
I don't have a dog in that fight, but as long as Israel continues to stir up trouble, can the US government please stop giveing them free money - welfare - out of my pocket? If Israel is such a strong, independent country, they hardly need our money, no?
Sometimes I wish we'd seize Jeruselem and kick everybody out for 100 years. If the Muslims, Jews and Christians can't play nice, take away their toy for a couple of generations until they can behave like adults. Here in the USA we have many ethnic groups, many religions, and we don't blow eachother up or rain missiles down on eachother. Israel/Palestinian need a single state solution with a constitution that protects the liberties of all. But no doubt neither side can stand the idea of sharing that ugly, barren, plot of land where nobody would live if they could afford to get out!

Anonymous:

Rabbi Jonathan,
With all due respect u are insulting readers intelligence epecially when u say "the US is an honest broker in negotations??????????."

How can that be with AIPAC balckmailing every US governmengt and with forty three 43 jewish members of congress?? U think Dennis Ross and Paul Wolfwatiz are honest "American" brokers??

U said :"IF America is strong "israel" is strong." WHY: because American jews control US foreign policy and their loyalty is to "israel"and I give u examples:Jonthan Pollard The Spy:why would he spy on his country, the USA, if he his loyalty was not to "israel"??

US and "israel's " intersts are mutually exclusive and israel has always been a strategic liability on the US-but this can not last forever.

American Jerusalemite:

@ Anonymous

Noone ever said that Muslim-AMericans are not productive citizens.

However all of your approval ratings labeled under the IMPACT OF SEPT 11. are WELL BELOW THE PUBLIC AVERAGE.

Needless to say the Muslim-American population, while the majority (over 50%) may agree with the governments handling of post-Sept 11, the statistics showtha the Muslim-American population is not even close to the rest of America. There is obviously a lack of understanding or allegiance to America when only 51% supported military action. As far as I remember the American public was in upwards of 80% who supported military action. Sense a disconnect????

MROBERTSON:

MONICA4,

Yours is the only sane and honest voice in a violent mental asylum (i.e., the reactions to this article, including the article itself).

Rabbi Jonathan:

I think that there is another mantra that needs our consideration, at least as far as American Jewish voters. (We are not the only ones who are targets of the Israelophiles of the election cycle to which Seidemann refers, but we seem to get the brunt of the credit.)

That mantra is that Israel is strong when the United States is strong. And our country's strength is based upon a government that promotes progressive programs, maintains stable and positive relationships with foreign governments, acts in equitable ways toward its citizens, and serves as an honest broker in all of its negotiations.

Over the last seven and a half years, our country has declined in all these indices. Our social programs have left more poor people behind, and our foreign policy has been based on the sloppy use of our brawn rather than the wise utilization of diplomacy. As someone who also supports a two-state solution, the United States needs to push the parties toward the negotiating table, ensuring that violations of the spirit of the negotiations do not go unrecognized.

The United States can be that third partner in the Middle East situation, but they need to pursue all their efforts with strength and vigor.


Over the last seven and a half years, our country has declined in all these indecies.

Anonymous:


"American Jerusalemite": I think below mentioned facts are enough to keep you on silent mode

Who are America's Muslims?

A snapshot from a poll of US Muslims in November.

• 50% earn more than $50,000 annually.

• 58% are college graduates.


• 36% were born in the US; the rest come from 80 other countries

• 32% are South Asian, 26% Arab, 20% African-American, 7% African, and 14% are 'other.'

• One-fifth are converts to ISLAM. (JUDISM ? Jews cant find any)

Politics:

• 79% are registered to vote.

• 40% are Democrats, 23% Republicans, and 28% Independents.

• 36% are moderate, 27% are liberal, and 21% are conservative.

• They are liberal on some issues - 93% favor both universal healthcare and more generous government assistance to the poor - and conservative on many social issues: They support the death penalty (68%); oppose physician-assisted suicide (61%); support a ban on pornography (65%); and favor making abortions harder to obtain (57%).

• They support prayer (53%) and the display of the Ten Commandments in schools (59%), and favor vouchers for private schools (68%).

Participation in American Life:

• They support donations to non-Muslim social service programs (96%); getting more involved in civic organizations (96%); and participation in the political process (93%).

• They take part in groups helping the poor, sick, elderly, or homeless (77%).

• They take part in school or youth programs (69%).

Impact of Sept. 11:

• 58% approve President Bush's handling of terrorist attacks.

• 66% agree the war is being fought against terrorism, not Islam.

• 68% say the military effort could lead to a more unstable Middle East.

• 51% support the military action.

• 67% say a change in US Middle East policy is the best way to wage war against terrorism.

• 61% say the US should reduce its support of undemocratic regimes in the Muslim world.

The poll was supported by Project MAPS: Muslims in the American Public Square, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

American Jerusalemite:

Hi Al,

Yes you are correct. Jews and Arabs had relations until 1948. Unfortunaely not all was as rosy as it seemed. I can attest because my grandfather was beheaded in Iraq, why? because he was a Jew.

The UN partitioned Palestine into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. We accepted the Pals did not. The rest is history.

By the way, we Jews from Arab lands, 1 million to be exact are still awaiting compensation from those governments stretching from Morocco to Iran. The Pals won't see a dime until we do as well.

Funny, but there was an article recently written in Spain asking Europeans this question, "How is that we almost destroyed the Jews of Europe who gave us so much and in return we get these knife wielding Islamic terrorists?" Seems that in place of the Jews after the Holocaust Europe got saturated with Muslims. Good luck Eurabia!

Al:

The thing that irritates me the most is that Jews have been prosecuted by most of european nations such as the czars, nazis, spanish enquisition, etc. the only race that treated them like human beings were the arabs specifically in Andalucia. When the spaniards massacred them they fled to Egypt, the nazis they came to our land. When the crusaders killed them Saladdin gave them a part of Jerusalem.This is their history read it if you don't believe me. the iraqi jews lived for hundred of years in peace so did the ones in Egypt.... And this is the gratitude we get. If we treated them the same way the westerens did do you guys realy think there would be israel. But noooooo we had to be nice, we have a saying in arabic it translates to "Do good and you will only get evil in return"

agapian:

Please note the definition of 'xenophobia':

Xenophobia denotes a phobic attitude toward strangers or of the unknown. It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "foreigner," "stranger," and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners or in general of people different from one's self. For example, racism is sometimes described as a form of xenophobia, but in most cases racism has nothing to do with a real phobia. In science fiction, it has come to mean "fear of extraterrestrial things." Xenophobia implies a belief, accurate or not, that the target is in some way foreign.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition ("DSM-IV") includes in its description of a phobia an "intense anxiety" which follows exposure to the "object of the phobia, either in real life or via imagination or video..." For xenophobia there are two main objects of the phobia. The first is a population group present within a society, which is not considered part of that society. Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries. This form of xenophobia can elicit or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, or in the worst case, genocide.

There are Islamophobics, Zionophobics, Ameriphobics, Hebrew racists, Arabic genociders all over the Mount of Jerusalem landscape. It sounds like a school of sharks who like to eat shark tails.

Vic:

Well, since Jews are so superior to the rest of us, can we stop sending $15 million a day to Israel? Can we cut the 60 years of welfare for these people who ,according to the author, are so much more intelligent and creative than the rest of us, but cannot support themselves? Can we stop fighting their wars? What an arrogant article. Americans are tired of hearing about Israel. We are tired of your parasitic dependence and brutality towards your neighbors. You are so superior?...Then leave us alone and support yourselves !

Anonymous:

"israel"has no constitution:what kind of a state is that? It gives flexibilty to do any thing it wants the occuoied Arabs-including imprison them in concentration camps such as Aushwitz # 2=Gaza;

"israel" has NO rpt NO borders-as far as its Americam made tanks can reach-so it can continue to annex Arab land,with US taxpayers money.

Asim, San Antonio:

There is only one solution:One State for all Arabs (Christians and Muslims)and Jews who resided in Palestine on or before 1914-all other Jews are illegal immigrants and occupiers and should pack up and go back to where they come from including the writing "Jerusalmite" who is an American illegal alien;

Why:so that the 80% of the indigneous authentic population of PAlestine-the Palestinians-who were ethnically cleanesed by jewish terrorist gangs such as Haganh,Palmach,Irgun etc...so those PAlestinians can come back to their homes in Palestine after a sixty year exile-they now number seven million refugees and have lamneted in refugee camps for the past sixty years And live only one to two hours drive from their stolen and occupied homes.

Golda Mier said "there is no such thing as Palestinians"!! The fact is there is no such thing as "israelis"-it's a manufactured name resurrected from the ruins of history to give legitimacy to illegal immigrant jews.

Yes there are jews and they have a jewish state:New York. But there is no such thing as "israelis"-it is a myth. Our friend the writer is a real case in point:he is an American born in America and an illegal immigrant to Palestine and undoutedly lives in a house of an ethnically cleanesed Plaestinian.This is even confirmed by the so called jewish neo-historians such as Illan Pappe and Beni Morris.

There is absolutely no room for a so called two-state solution-why: these are the facts:the jews/jewish terrorist gangs occupied 78% of the land of historic PAlestine in 1947/8 and ethnically cleanesed 70-80%of its populatin. Jews occupied the rest of historic Palestine (remaning 22%)in 1967 and have since they annexed in full day light over 60% of the remaning 22% (Jerusalem,West Bank and Gaza) and mutilated it bt settlements and "military roads" and the shameful apartheid wall.The writer is a witness to these facts.The Jordan valley, Jerusalem and all airports and border points are jewish controlled-so the Palestinians can be sieged for ever as in Gaza and west bank.

Palestine has been an Arab land for the past five thousand years-Cannanite Arabs settled it and built Jerusalem at that time and was briefly occupied by jews and then by a lengthy Roman/Byzantine occupation and was eventually liberated by Arab Muslims again in the 7th century AD.

Jews in PAlestine never felt and will never feel secure for a very simple reason:they live on stolen land. The fate of Palsetine and esepciallay Jerusalem will not be decided by Obama and McSame nor by fundamnetalist American Christians:it will ultimately be decided by the true owners of the land:the Palestinians and the Arabs.

The so called 'negotations'were and have always been a waste of time-in fact only to give jews more time to steal more land and build more settlments-all will eventually revert to Palestinians:the land is Palsetinian and the money that built the settlemnets is US taxpayers money.

Clearly "isreal" is a colonial setller state as the French jewish scholar Maxime Rodtison called it. It is an apartheid state as President Carter called it. And it a racist state because it wants to be a "jewish state" on Arab land and the exclusion of the indigenous Arab population.

Its a militaristic group of illegal aliens mantaining their occupation by military occupation-the longest in modern history-of a land and an oppressed people.

But setller states eventually vanish:the French occupation of Alegeria vanished and nuclear apartheid white south afriac vanished.

So Daniel you are well-advised to go back to the land of your birth and hand back the hosue you live in to the Palestinian who was driven out of it. The sooner the better.

The Palestine conflict is absolutely not religious:Muslims resepct Judaism and the its fundamnetal to Islam to belive in the Prophets of the old testement including Moses. The conflict is about land-a stolen homeland.

For more on the tragedy of and in Palestine see this London based site WWW.PALNDS.ORG

American Jerusalemite:

@ Zoltan - don't be angry because we are so successful. or in other words, "don't hate the player, hate the game".

1) As a nation, Israel (meaning Jews because Israeli Arabs don't consider themselves as such), gives a tremendous amount to the US.

2) I can only state the facts and the facts speak for themselves. We as Jews have been awarded more then our fair share of awards compared to our population. Arabs with 250 million or so have??? what? 1 noble prize???

3) I am only playing on the world wide fear of anti-semitism and throwing it back in your faces ie: Borat style. How is that such a small population of the world has achieved so much?? Honestly ask yourself that question!

4) Who ever said Israel was secular? It is a Jewish state with Jewish holidays and a Jewish ethos! Just like America is Christian, Mexico is Catholic, and Pakistan is Muslim.

Realistic:

To Greg Ohio:

I solely respect your opinion regarding the simple soluion for Jerusalem, and hope the americans and israelis understand that this world is a place to live and not for a play a war.

Respect the religions, ethics, values and dignity so we can create a world a good place to live. Specially religion as it is a sensitive issue for every individual.

People like "American Jerusalemite" are those dont care about religion or a values of a individuals. An Israeli like you.... dont want to comment on your limited way of thinking, because its not worth it. If I comment back on his views, I will be damaging the respected jewish people I personally know.

Every one has given alot to america or to a place where they live. There are muslims who own the biggest business in america for such Citi Bank owned by a muslim, dont want to start all this as its not worth it.


Zoltan:

@ American Jerusalemite: "how is that the smallest minority in the world has so much power?"

I bet you're all Übermenschen ?

You also use "Israel" and "Jew" interchangeably in your lists: "Israel gives more to America ..." and
"176 Jews (...) have been awarded the Nobel Prize": so much for a secular state.

I also guess the usual pro-Israeli gang posting on the Guardian's "Comment is Free" (CiF) anytime Israel pops up on the radar will soon appear here. WaPo readers, you have been warned.

American Jerusalemite:

I agree with Mark 100%!!

Mark:

I too am an American who now lives in Jerusalem. But I disagree with Daniel on almost all his points. First of all - Israel is an American issue. As the only democracy in the Middle East, and a US ally since its founding, as well as a strategic partner, it is basic and vital that the US consider Israel interests, for its own benefit.
To all those readers advocating a "one state" solution, I suggest that you take a look at how well minorities - specifically Christians, Copts, Jews, Bahai, as well as political dissidents, homosexuals, etc. - are treated in any of the 22 Moslem countries surrounding Israel. For that matter, take a look at the treatment of the Sunni (or Shiite, as the case may be) minorities in some of these countries. So much for integration. Adopting the "one state" solution is national suicide for Israel.
The reason that Jerusalem is and must remain the undivided capital of Israel, is that the Jews are the only ones who ever granted it that status. In the 19 years that it was under Moslem (Jordanian) control, between 1948 and 1967, it was never granted any special status, and Arab leaders barely even visited it (not even religious pilgrimages). Jews, however, who continued to pray for Jerusalem as the "eternal capital" for two thousand years, were not allowed to even visit by the Arabs who ruled. I am not referring to Israelis, but Jews of any nationality. Even during hundreds of years of Moslem control under the Ottoman Turks, Jerusalem was nothing more than a regional headquarters.
Today, the holy sites are accesible to all, except for the Temple Mount, which though nominally controlled by Israel, is officially "off limits" for Jews.
Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the Koran!
And one more thing - let's remember that Israel won the 1967 war, which was begun by the Arabs. If you want to quibble if the closing the Straits of Tiran was a justifiable act of war or not - it doesn't matter. Jordan was not in the initial fighting and Israel warned King Hussein not to join. His mistake - he didn't listen and was resoundly defeated.
No other countries who have won land in military conflicts have ever ceded it.
The only thing I agree with, is that yes - we do have to divest ourselves of the vast majority of the West Bank, and allow the Palestinians their national homeland, according to the UN partition plan of 1947 (and one may also ask - why didn't the Arabs establish a Palestinian homeland in the West Bank between 1948 - 1967, but that's another can of worms).

American Jerusalemite:

it's amazing to see all the hatred on these talkbacks. 99% of you don't know any of the facts and are regurjitating trash and anti-semetic remarks.

to Ali - Native Americans are not all dead.
to The Monk - FYI Israel does not have a constitution.
to Doc - Israel didn't steal anything. Israel was attacked and yes in '67 closing off the shipping lanes to Israel is an act of war.

to everyone else you are all anti-semites, angry and bitter.
here is some more fuel to the fire - how is that the smallest minority in the world has so much power? how is it that we are the butt of all racism and anger? how is that we can have so much control being the least populace? wow, we must be pretty damn good eh? you all must feel so little and embarrased that we are so powerful. you have nothing to blame but yourselves. if it wasn't for us this pagan world would have no conscience. that is why you are all angry.

like it or not, Israel gives more to America in forms of new technology, agriculture,scientific and medical research then Americans are willing to admit. by the way, what has Islam given to the wordl????

At least 176 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize,1 accounting for 23% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2007, and constituting 37% of all US recipients2 during the same period. In the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, and Physics, the corresponding world and US percentages are 27% and 40%, respectively. (Jews currently make up approximately 0.25% of the world's population and 2% of the US population.)

Chemistry (29 prize winners, 19% of world total, 28% of US total)
Economics (25 prize winners, 41% of world total, 55% of US total)
Literature (13 prize winners, 13% of world total, 27% of US total)
Peace (9 prize winners, 9% of world total, 10% of US total)3

Physics (47 prize winners, 26% of world total, 38% of US total)
Physiology or Medicine (53 prize winners, 28% of world total, 41% of US total)

Jewish Recipients of the US National Medal of Science (166 recipients, 38% of total)
Jewish Recipients of the Kyoto Prize (26% of recipients)

RRedzuan:

Your article does a good service towards battling the mainstream opinion in America regarding Jerusalem. I congratulate you for standing up for the interests of your country in this way, and articulating your reasoning well. And I commend you for finding a way to get this opinion piece published, knowing it would generally not be received very warmly.

Yishai Kohen:

Seidemann seems to forget that not only was Barak's agreeing to divide OUR holy city, OUR undivided capital violently rejected by the Philistines, but also he did it unilaterally- without the support of the nation of Israel.

Seidemann speaks for nobody about OUR city; nobody except for himself.

Thank G-d.

Tarik:

A classic example of the contradiction that state of Israel is living today. The goal is to keep the country Jewish, democratic and to control the whole land (including Jerusalem). As T.Friedman put it there are 3 tough choices:

1. Keep the Jewish and democratic Israel, but give up to the two states solution (including dividing Jerusalem)

2. Keep the Jewish and control the whole land, then you will lose the democratic state.

3. Keep the democratic Israel and control the whole territory, then you will lose the Jewish state.

I agree that the rhetoric in the on going US presidential campaign is doing no good to sustainable peace in the region.

Nym:

It'd be nice if Jerusalem were to be a 'Federal City', it might have problems but this would solve fighting over land.

The whole country and region is sick with violence, and has been for so long that I doubt it will ever stop. People have forgotten how to live with peace there.

A good start might be to stop pretending the land is somehow holy. It's not, it's one of the bloodiest places on the planet instead. I can't think of a place more washed with the evils of violence than that whole area.

Gaza is a slave to it's own violence that beggars everyone to starvation, the violence ruins everything for everyone else even in surrounding countries.

Even a look at the 'enemies' of Israel, using Iran as an example, seriously doesn't Iran have other things it'd rather worry about than the state of play there?

There is a level of stupidity that goes with terroristic violence that grows tiresome to the point of intolerance, and real governments understand this.

Move out:

As a Yemeni-American I empathize with the Palestinian people...similiar to the American Indians (who are all dead now), Australian Aboriginies (Almost gone) and South Africans (back from the dead)), their life, land, liberty, freedom and childhood was stolen from underneath them. We (International Community, USA and Isreal) just need to do the right thing now....give it back (to palestine) and apologize, then move on. Similiar to the situation in Iraq, Palestinians had nothing to do with the holocaust, just as Iraq had nothing to do with 911, but are paying a heavy price for someone else's mistakes (Greed). Salam Alikum and peace to palestine.

Ali

tonio:


I think mr.Seidemann's proposal of recognizing West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Arab (east) Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine is the only acceptable proposal to Christians(forget c. Zionists),Muslims and Jews.

The only alternative to that : Keep Jerusalem and the rest of Historic Palestine as one united country,where all Palestinian Jews,Muslims and Christians live in a truly secular and democratic country.Don't the Palestinian People ( C,J+M )belong to one place called PALESTINE !!

Chaim Forst:

The article is nonsense as it posits the question from one point of view and then takes the obvious answer. The "two-state solution" is ludicrous and entirely impractical (really, impossible). The record shows clearly that any and all land ceded by Israel immediately results in an Arab lurch to increased radicalism and terror plus a new launching pad for missiles and other "means of Arab peace". Ceding the West Bank or any part of it to yet another radical Arab entity will result in much more of the same.

The Arabs of the Gaza Strip are from different origins than the Arabs of the West Bank. The former are mostly from Northern Africa and speak Egyptian Arabic while the latter are mostly from Iraq and Syria and speak that dialect. There is really nothing that unites them except anti-Israelism. Making any deal with Abbas, the so-called leader of the PA, means immediate radicalization of the West Bank, a spate of assassinations, the take-over by Hamas, and the launching of a new and more devastating round of missiles and terrorist attacks.

The so-called "two-state solution" is nothing more than a pipe-dream of people who do not understand the dynamics here including the Jerusalem resident who wrote the article. I wish what he wrote were true, but it's not.

monica4:

I applaud everything that Mr. Seidemann has said, although I fear that it may already be too late for a two-state solution. Settlements and settler-only roads have appropriated 42 per cent of the West Bank. The route of the "security barrier" has been looped around through the Palestinian side of the Green Line in such a way as to separate Palestinian towns from their water supplies, and farmers from their fields. Surely the two-state solution is the better option, but the settlers may have already destroyed this possibility. If a single state should prove to be the only viable option, would Israel be willing to draw up a constitution that guarantees equal rights to all? With such a guarantee, the original purpose of the state of Israel -- namely, to provide a safe haven for Jews -- would be fulfilled, and the dignity of the Arabs would be respected.

Me:

hamas thinks demographics will solve the israeli/palestinian conflict in favor of their side. while israel is banking on its capital and military power to build more walls and win more skirmishes. let time decide...

Anonymous:

I'm tired of all of the bloodshed, strife and cost of a bunch of religious nuts of every brand fighting over a lousy, nearly unihabitable piece of dry dirt because of a bunch of man-made fables that should have been left in the damn stoneage. None of you were given the place by a god. If you were, show us the title for the property and not in some book of fables you "believe" is the truth.

Robert James:

Israel does not have a right or entitlement to Jerusalem. It must recognise that the Palestinians cannot be demeaned by telling them that Israel is forever taking Jerusalem from you.

Fairness should not be equivalent to might is right.

Until compromises enter the settlement process there will be dissent and violence on both sides.

Sharing and compromise may not be ideal but it may be fair and each side will get something.

I am supposing that respect for each other contemplates compromise and sharing rather than a winner and a loser.

Observer:

Jeremy chides doc as follows:
“Please, in the future, save your hate-mongering for your pals, and use some actual facts here.”

Then few lines below this statement gave the following ”fact”.

“It was not until Israel was suddenly attacked during the 6-Day War of 1967 was Jerusalem captured under full Israeli sovereignty.”

It is true that Israel radio made that horrendous claim on the morning of June5, 1967;attacked by Egypt. Soon afterwards, though, it admitted that it was the one who started attacking its neighbors , beginning with Egypt. This character must take us for morons.

OldScratch:

The two "mainstream" parties can forget my vote. 60 years of colossal welfare payments to Israel, now endless, wasteful and economy-destroying wars for Israel. A growing legion of American dead. And what do we get in return? AIPAC spies and other Israeli manipulations of US domestic politics and foreign policy. Thanks, Israel. And goodbye.

PalestinePeaceNotApartheid:

israel is an APARTHEID COUNTRY. Jews have palestinians in a concentration camp surrounded by what "free american media" call "security fence".
Anybody that supports a terrorist apartheid regime have no morals at all. In fact "christian zionists" are the same white suprimacists and their decendants that hung black men from trees in the "bible belt".

zenwick:

"Facts on the ground", as Mr. Seidemann puts it, are malleable. Barriers could be moved, and rules for joint control of holy places could be worked out, if the political will existed to do so. What does not seem malleable is Palestinian opposition to any solution (one state or two) that would guarantee Jewish control over, and a Jewish homeland in, any part of Israel.

The more a Palestinian leader such as Abu Mazen is willing to negotiate, the less authority that leader has. Ehud Barak was open to compromising many things for a guaranteed peace, and the sole Palestinian response was the suicide bombings of the Second Intefada. Neither did unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza create any opening for negotiation, it simply encouraged Hamas to demonstrate that its single goal is to perpetuate a state of war.

Until the Palestinian people are willing to accept Israel's existence, the best that can be hoped for is the status quo. As to the problems of the "poor, starving, downtrodden" Palestinian citizens, the Arab world has plenty of resources. Why is it that, other than giving blood money to the families of "martyrs", the Arab world has no interest in helping them?

Agapian:

Perhaps some thought should be given to the idea that Jerusalem has NEVER been a city of one or two tribal societies since it began 7000 years ago and that it was NEVER intended to be a place of spiritual enhancement by any one type of spiritual awareness or religion. The Mount of Jerusalem has accepted spirituality from all who came there, rejecting only those who put territorial and personal wealth above all else (Egyptians, Hittites of Persia, Romans, Yazids of Damascus, Crusaders of Europe, etc).

Suppose that the Old City became the embassies of all nations and the ANY spiritual system was allowed to live in peace there so long as it didn't attempt to impose territorial values on any other or come with a greedy heart? Would you then create a model city that for all humans to come and go without a degraded spirit? Each tribe of peoples with embassies there might have to consider values other than an adjacent hectare.

troutcor:

That Jerusalem is an issue in U.S. elections is just another example, ironically, of how American politics are becoming more like the Israeli variety. Extremists are coming to rule the roost, and appeals to those extremists seem to drive elections and policy decisions. If we really want to go that way, we can look at Israel and see how well that option turns out.

Brandon:

I think there should be open disscusion about Zionists, and Zionisim, to find out whether it is a Good, or Bad idealogy. Then American can decide,why they should not blindly back Isreal against suffering of Plastinians. We are backing the racist idealogy with our tax money.
And nobody defining a Zionist. We have to do this and then put a lable on them, so they can be shamed out of the way of peace in the Middle East.
Brandon-Snellville GA.

ILHAMUD:

ALLAH'U EQBAR. ONE DAY ALL WORLD WILL BE MUSLIM. BEST REGARDS

Jeremy:

Doc,
You should read your history books before responding to a reputable site like this. Allow me to contradicts all of your erroneous and misguided statements.
1)The UN Partition Plan of 1947 created the State of Israel, not Israeli "terrorists." At the time, the plan did not include most of Jerusalem, and the Jews willingly and gleefully accepted this reality.

2) It was not until Israel was suddenly attacked during the 6-Day War of 1967 was Jerusalem captured under full Israeli sovereignty. Please remember, the Israeli military captured this territory from Jordan as part of a defensive struggle.

3) History can answer your final question as to why the world would believe any offer by Israel. As part of the same campaign in the 6 Day War, I am sure that you know that the Israeli military captured the Sinai peninsula from the Egyptians. Upon recognizing that the Egyptian leadership at that time was a reliable negotiating partner in developing a peaceful relationship, Israel relinquished control of this territory in exchange for a peace treaty.

Please, in the future, save your hate-mongering for your pals, and use some actual facts here. You're welcome.

Adam DC:

We need an American president, as well as other world leaders, to attach conditions to our aid and stand up to an Israeli government that actively tries to derail the peace process. They directly impede by approving of new settlements in the West Bank that only further destroy confidence between the two parties. Ehud Olmert sat in Annapolis last year expressing intentions for peace, yet as soon as he returned to Jerusalem, he approved of new settlement building.

A Gazan extremist launches a rocket into Israel and a group of religious Jews build settlements in the West Bank - both groups aren't acting in the best interest of peace negotiations but neither are acting on behalf of their respective governments. But in July, Israeli approved a new settlement of 22 homes to "replace" illegal settlements. Now you have government support for a retaliatory measure that clearly impedes the stated goals of the peace process.

(Not to mention that all settlements are inherently illegal by international law. And the fact that Israel is calling this construction "settlements" instead of just "new housing construction" represents the thought process that Israel knows it is doing something wrong)

None of the objectives people are seeking can ever even be remotely achievable if one side doesn't trust the other. One state, two states, unified Jerusalem, divided Jerusalem - no one can, or will even want to, agree on anything if the Israeli government says one thing and does another.

Dave:

You make some valid points when you say that a two state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both, is the only viable one, at this point. What you fail to address is the fact that Jerusalem, or Palestine, was never a Jewish "possession" to begin with. Starting with the first Zionist Congress in 1898 or the Balfour Declaration in 1917, there has been so much depravity, lies, manipulation, violence, arrogance and slaughter behind the Zionist theft of a land the Jews never had much (if any) claim to, that talking about "fair partitioning" is like a bank robber negotiating with the bank over how much stolen money he feels like returning.

DAUGHTER OF CYRUS:

I have no problem with Jerusalem being fully, or half Jewish.
I have a problem with the below, however:

I do not believe we can live in a World where certain ethnic groups can go back and claim a location they inhabited (not even created, as Jerusalem was originally Hitite, and was invaded by Kind David) some 2000 years ago.

If so,:

ITALY - Would have to conquer most of Western Europe, as it was all Roman, right up to Hadrian's Wall/

PERSIA - would have to stretch from North Africa to India - as that was it's boudaries 2500 years ago.

CHINA - feel free to fill in the blanks, but I could imagine covered different territories 2000 years ago.

ARMENIA - Gosh - feel free to fill in the blanks.

KURDS - Ditto as in the case of Armenia.

My issue is this:
A Global community lives by all-encompassing global standards.
We either all go back to where we were 2000 years ago - or if only some of us are paid $billions to do so - we bear in mind that others are not doing so.


faithfulservant3:

Daniel:

Your questions would be better posed in the upcoming Israeli election since the "situation on the ground" would likely change for the better when Israeli leaders stop making ridiculous requests of their spineless American counterparts.

How sad that one of the US's leading newspapers chooses someone who doesn't even live here to criticize America's Arab-Israeli policies and then relegates it to some backwater of their web site.

Robert Sidney:

You make some good points. Jerusalem should not be used by Americans for political gains.

Additionally, the government of Israel should no longer allow any Americans to visit Israel and Israel should no longer accept monetary aid from USA and Israel should no longer seek to buy arms or technology used in armaments from USA.

APARTHEID:

israel is an APARTHEID COUNTRY. Jews have palestinians in a concentration camp surrounded by what free american media call "security fence".
Anybody that supports a terrorist apartheid regime have no morals at all. In fact "christian zionists" are the same white suprimacists and their decendants that hung blacks from trees in the "bible belt".

Sid GH:

Of course Israel should keep full authority over Jerusalem, since it is the only ruling country to allow full access to people of all religions to their holy sites there. By contrast, when the Jordanians ruled it from '49-'67, they tore down over 50 synagogues, dismantled Jewish cemeteries and tried to erase all evidence of the lengthy history of Jews in East Jerusalem.

Odd how some people think that Israel has a fiduciary obligation to protect the Palestinians from the necessary albeit painful consequences of their poor judgement and culture of hatred over the past few decades. If instead, the Palestinians had been allowed to suffer the full consequences of their societal bigotry, we'd likely have a peaceful solution by now.

-Sid G Helfin

The Monk:

I dunno. The two state solution has a pink elephant to it- in this case two pink elephants; and that's two ethnocracies instead of one democracy.

I think one integrated democratic state is the only hope for a long lasting future for Israel. I also don't think the Palestinian birth rate would have any effect on a democracy. Even if Jews became a minority in the country, Israel would still exist and prosper and give Jews an ethnic homeland.

Its not the Jewish ethnicity that makes Israel what it is today, its the principles that Israelis live by enshrowded in their constitution that makes Israel what it is and will give justice and prosperity to all its citizens who will in turn fight to protect it like we do here in the U.S. to protect our constitution.

lalaland:

I was raised Jewish and live in Brooklyn, NY, the other "kingdom of the jews" (to quote William Styron) and it's quite clear to me that the problem with Isreal is the urge for power, riches, and land. Here in NY we have a secular government and everyone is free to practice their own religion as they see fit. In the theocracy that is Isreal, there is endless tension not only between Muslims, Jews, and Christians, but between Jews themselves.

Content yourself with what should be your borders, create a unified state and start being your brother's keeper by bringing the Palestinians back into the fold. Israel is currently an apartheid state, and when the state denies a person human rights, the ability to make a living, the ability to move freely, it should surprise no one that you have an insurgency. In the US when we were oppressed, we fought for our freedom - take that example along with northern Ireland, South Africa, east and west Germany's unification, etc.

I personally feel both the israelis and palestinians are acting like spoiled children. We should stop all aid (except humanitarian) to both parties immediately. Maybe if we stopped the suckling they might find a way to be responsible towards each other, treat each other like human beings instead of enemies, and find a way to get along.

Both sides seem oddly proud at their hardheadedness and inability to function; both sides endlessly blame each other like children, both sides fuel the violence while decrying the violence that inevitably circles back to them. Israel might have been the land of milk and honey 5,000 years ago, but it has been the prime example of human viciousness, stupidity, and selfishness since it's recreation, and neither side seems to have any interest in creating a safe, healthy, shared existence that is so desperately needed. GROW UP.

merna:


There is no out.

If it is true that the jews should own and keep everything they've stolen from the Palestinians, because "they were there first"...

Then, by God, any Native American who chooses can have the homes, land (and pariticularly the
New York penthouses of the greedy, thieving Wall Streeters).

If I were Native American, instead of 8th generation AMerican, I'd be choosing my new place today.

The vile refusal to let the palestininans who were driven out of their homes during my lifetime...return because the Jews want them, is an example of the great unjustice.

Corrupt, troublesome, world detested US taxpayer busting Israel. What a deal.

Edward:


You think you're sick of the subject of Jerusalem!

You haven't begun. For most Americans, and growing, the subject of Jerusalem AND Israel...

and the bombing of Iran and the Israeli arming of Georgia to get a fight started (for the US to join) is beyond unbearable.

how little time it has taken the zionists to
bring this country to it's knees, war, the economy, the lack of civil discourse, et. al.

Chris S.:

Whoa, AMA, pre-Roman borders? It's that sort of thinking that has thrown all of us into this bloody quagmire.

Over the course of history, you won't find a single plot of land that wasn't occupied by multiple groups at some point, and you won't find a single modern ethnicity, nationality, or religious group that can claim exclusive descent from any ancient group. Thus, we can't realistically trace "first" inhabitation based land rights to anyone. If we tried, the results would be absurd: simple geography tells us that the first residents of the levant were almost certainly the first group of humans to leave Africa about 60,000 years ago. We are therefore ALL related to this group. Do we all have a territorial claim on account of this? Ha! But that's the logical endpoint to your argument that "we got there first!"

Maritza:

If Israel were truly a democracy, religion would not play such a integral role. If Israel truly wishes to emulate the United States, then it needs to become more secular.

I know this defeats the purpose of its existence as a refuge and home for all Jews, but how many people must die/ be forced out/ flee before this sinks in? Otherwise, Israel will continue to function as shark-bait...

chasemonster:


How's that west bank wall coming along?
Does it move and slither like a ssssssnake?

This Just In:

As long as prospects remain good for robbing defenseless Palestinians of their homes and property, experts agree that there will never be peace.

walterrock:

Unfortunatly Israel is a litmus test for anyone running for president. The Rupublicans and the Christian right require the candidate to support Israel unconditionally for their doomsday (all Christians do not believe the exact scenario)prophecy, and the liberal Democrats support it as their party base. Truth is neither one really cares about Israel, only the politics of it. And to some degree this works out in Israels favor, especially in aide. Also, the US does not have to defend Israel per se. Why, I have little doubt that they would nuke their enemy before surrendering.

Michael1945:

When are they going to dismantle that dome. I want to see the rock as it original stood and not for religious reasons. Rocks have no religion and tales of someone rising from a rock have no basis in fact.

Mikey:

Jerusalem will forever remain the rope in a tug of war. The contest will only end when the stronger side rips it away from the weaker. In this tug of war, it may take centuries. By that time, the world as we know it today will be unrecognizable and Jerusalem will be an asterisk in the long march of history. Unless we can conquer more sinister threats such as global warming, nuclear proliferation, disease(AIDS, cancer) and the potential of a global epidemic, our global civilization will vanish in the dust of time and Jerusalem will have never been.

beastlet:

The reality is that Isreal offers the only means for american politicians to appropriate taxpayer dollars for political purposes. Here is how it works. Make lots of noise about support for Israel. Ship them a few billion dollars of taxpayer money in aid each year. Get back most of it via AIPAC lobbyists.

If this loophole were closed the entire mess would be solved. Via the obvious and only solution. The one state, secular democracy of unified Isreal and Palestine.

Basheer Khouri:

Dan,
I am an American of Palestinian decent whose parents had to leave Jerusalem for the US when I was little because of the expansionist policies of some in Israel and active support of the "armchair-Zionists in the American Jewish community, and all the self-proclaimed Christian Zionists" you talk about in your piece, who secretly -- or not so secretly, aspire -- and conspire -- to turn Jerusalem into an Armageddon theme park as you rightly describe it!

I want to salute you, as a Christian Palestinian American, who loves my place of birth, Palestine, as much as I love my great adoptive land of America, for offering such a realistic, humanistic and all inclusive vision for solving this very intractable issue of Jerusalem. As you rightly put it, not one single Palestinian Christian or Muslim would ever accept that Jerusalem be under total Israeli control, which sadly means that we are merely postponing turning the issue into a lightening rod for all the zealots from all religious communities that stake a claim on the city. That, in turn, means war for ever, in the name of some God!

I can tell you this: with people like you (some are already trying to devalue you and your point of view as a not-too-worthy to even read Labor or Meretz member) almost all Palestinians -- Muslims and Christians alike -- are willing to sit down and negotiate an honorable solution that would absolutely respect the rights of everybody: Jews, Muslims and Christians and others as well.

It's those people who already are trying to deligitimize you are the ones that you, me, and much of America should fear, because these all-or-nothing, war mongering crowd, are the ones who are working very hard to keep this issue in the way you described it in American politics.

Thanks Dan and God bless you!

Basheer Khouri lives and works out of his Annandale, VA home.

ama:

Mr. Seidemann advocates ". . . the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. . . ." The flaw in his (and PM Barak's) position is that Israel's claim to Jerusalem is based upon the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, which, of course, is located in East Jerusalem. The Jewish claim to sovereignty in this land is prior to that of the Palestinians. I understand that Jews and Palestinians presently reside in East Jerusalem, and that property rights should be respected. Nonetheless, Mr. Seidemann neglected to explain why Israel should forego sovereignty over the Temple Mount area. It was, after all, the capital of the Jewish (or, if you prefer, Judaean) state at the time of the Roman conquest. If you want to divide Jerusalem to ensure peace, sections other than the Old City should be considered. East Jerusalem was Jewish long before other peoples settled there. Perhaps Mr. Seidemann, like Herzl before him, would settle for a nice section of Uganda.

Eli:

I, too, am a former American living in Jerusalem, but I can't agree less with the writer of this post. The main defect in his argument is that the Arabs won't accept a two-state solution under any conditions. Rather, they just want Israel to disappear and all the Jews to leave, in spite of the good will of Israelis like Mr. Seidemann who believe, albeit naively, that peace is just around the corner. The situation here is much more complex than that, and I doubt whether many Americans (including the presidential candidates!) have any idea just how complicated it is.

Doc:

Here is a question. Israeli's seem to want to be magnanimous with Palestians in seeking Peace. Since 1947, Israeli terrorists fought, and stole this land they call Isreal, and the holy city of Jerusalem, from the Palestinians. So the question is, why should the world, especially Palestinians, believe that Israel is now willing to share what they stole? And, why should the Palestinians accept an offer like this?

asor:

Dear Daniel Seidemann
I love your article, but I have one question: why we should put ourselves in box. Why Jerusalem can not be a capital of two states managed by shared power. both side defend it both promote it both side enjoy the beauty of it and meanwhile both side proudly can tell the world if people overcome their prejudices they can build together a city of hope and city of justice, city of David and city of Abraham. I am Muslim married to a Jew and I wish one day we could call Jerusalem the city of ours

David:

Agree with efforts for a one state solution. However rather than force a dissolution of Israel and Palestine, a confederation with a weak federal structure, leaving the current states alone and federalizing Jerusalem is probably the best option. Let the people living in the land choose Israeli or Palestinian citizenship and let everyone live wherever they want (including settlers, and arabs who want to live in Jaffa or Tel-Aviv

Anonymous:

Agree with efforts for a one state solution. However rather than force a dissolution of Israel and Palestine, a confederation with a weak federal structure, leaving the current states alone and federalizing Jerusalem is probably the best option. Let the people living in the land choose Israeli or Palestinian citizenship and let everyone live wherever they want (including settlers, and arabs who want to live in Jaffa or Tel-Aviv

mamiejane:

As an Arab American atheist and grandchild of Shiite Muslims on my mother's side and LDS (Mormon) grandparents on my father's side; I can see two plain facts that will make the question of Jerusalem almost impossible to resolve. First the kind of integration you propose is the most common sense answer to the problems of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. Second, the rise of religious and national fundamentalism among both Arabs and Jews, with its rejection of the melting pot and acceptance of violence as a means to an end makes integration impossible.

mctscholz:

like it or not as long as the U.S continues to pump in billions in civil and military aid I think it automatically makes it a political issue in America. So unless you think you can fair just fine without U.S assistance I'm afraid our investment in your country's existence is a legitimate political issue!

Greg Ohio:

Thank you for the intelligent and reasoned discussion of Jerusalem. But, you're wrong. Not in that the solution must to fair to all parties, but that it should be in the form of two states.

Instead of two states, each violating the rights of its minorities, and endlessly fighting over ancestral boundaries, I propose a single secular, democratic state, preserving the rights of everybody, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religion. To facilitate integration, there would be extremely robust laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, etc.

Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of this democratic state. Muslims would control Islamic features, such as the Dome and Mosque. Jews would control their features, such as the Wall. Jews would permanently renounce the notion of destroying the Dome to build a temple; if they desire to build one, it would be adjacent to the present structures. Archeology could take place by mutual consent with the understanding that discoveries do not alter the permanent protection of the present structures. People could respectfully visit facilities belonging to the other religions, only with their consent, which is the norm everywhere else in the world.

This does present a problem for Jews who view Israel as defense against another Holocaust. But, this view hardly makes sense. The United States is far larger and better defended than Israel. In return for Israelis accepting a secular state, the US would guarantee its defense, or as a last resort, guarantee to provide every single Israeli refuge if that's what it took to prevent another Holocaust. Several other large, well-armed, democratic nations like Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and the UK could offer guarantees as well.

This is a tall order. Neither side would support it right now, which just might mean its fair. And, two states might even be a necessary intermediate stage. But, this is a just, maintainable, permanent, democratic solution.

HaveItYour Way:

I'm quite sure that very few American voters choose a president based on his position about the future of Jerusalem

Joel:

I guess we should also internationalize the Vatican!

Dick:

It is happening since 1948. The Question is, America controls Israel or Vice Versa ? Leave Hypodricy aside !

norman ravitch:

I hate to admit anything good about the Vatican but in the 1940's it advocated the internationalization of Jerusalem. That was the right solution.

MJH:

I am curious about the political affiliation of the writer (my quess is Meretz or Labor). Publishing viewpoints of indviduals not associated with mainstream perspectives as authoritative, creates misconeptions about the realities and dispositions of very delicate situations. I am sure the Post couild easily find authors who would espouse the opposite position who also live in Jerusalem.

Tom Brucia:

Israelis need to understand that their nation is simply a political football to be played by folks who don't need to live there... Is that so hard to understand?

DAVID:

This site on Islam is a brief illustrated guide for non-Muslims who'd like to understand Islam, Muslims (Moslems), and the Quran (Koran). www.islam-guide.com/ . May ALLAH let all of us live in peace and harmony.

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