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The US, as we know, is pressing Israel to totally halt settlement activity (see here for example). This has some ramifications that are not quite obvious at first sight.

A settlement like Maskiot, in the Jordan valley, is clearly in the "West Bank" and would be part of the settlement freeze. For those who really believe that peace could happen any day now, and all these lands will be part of a Palestinian state, it is really not unreasonable to ask Israel to stop building there. What happens if people get married and have children in Maskiot? I guess they have to move away if they want their own house. We should remember that since 1994, Israel has not built any new settlements in the West Bank, in the expectation that "peace could happen any day now" - though existing settlements got a lot of new housing and settlers.

But the Palestinians consider that "East Jerusalem" is also part of the "occupied territory." That includes not only the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, but also the cemetery in Mt Olives and the Old City Jewish quarter, from which Jews were ethnically cleansed in 1948 (See Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem. It also includes areas that were formerly border areas and no-mans land such as the Ramat Eshkol Area. The disputes over the places where the settlement freeze applies will de facto create a consensus about what might be annexed to Israel and what belongs to the Palestinians. So we have to ask, if the Palestinians will raise a ruckus when a Jew dies and wants to be buried in Mt. Olives Cemetery, or when Israel wants to add some buildings to the Hebrew University campus on Mt. Scopus, or build in the Ramat Eshkol area or French Hill or other such neighborhoods. More important, we should be asking if any such activities will bring down the wrath of Hillary Clinton on the Israeli government. Regarding the Palestinians, we do not have to ask, as we already know the answer. The Palestinians will fight for every millimeter that was under Jordanian sovereignty for the precious 19 years between 1948 and 1967 that in retrospect were turned into a sacrosanct period in international law. They are busy building an "alternative narrative" in which no Jews ever lived in Jerusalem prior to 1967. That evidently was the claim of the Palestinian Imam, Shaykh Taysir Tamimi claimed there were no Jews in Jerusalem before 1967 and the two temples never existed. Even the moderate Sari Nusseibeh, in his charming book, "Once upon a country," simply wrote the Jews out of Jerusalem old City history. This has now become part of a systematic "moderate" Palestinian Authority effort to wipe out Jewish rights in Jerusalem, both in historical narrative and as a matter for the future peace settlement.

If the Palestinians have their way, presumably everything will be returned to the status of June 4, 1967, perhaps including the barbed wide in front of the Mandlebaum gate and the armored car that was stuck in no-man's land. Of course, anyone can claim anything they like in negotiations, but there is no reason for anyone to wipe out 3,000 years of history in the interests of "peace."

It is well to remember that the United States does not recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel, will not move its embassy there and will not even register a child born in Jerusalem as born in Israel. That is the attitude of most other countries as well. Under Arab pressure, all countries removed their embassies from Jerusalem. Israel will have a tough sell when trying to insist that Jerusalem is not a "settlement."

As it is Jerusalem day, Israeli politicians have issued the usual florid declarations that ""United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided." Saying it is one thing, but having a practical plan to implement it in the face of a concerted attempt to change history, international refusal to recognize Israeli (Jewish) sovereignty over Jerusalem and world pressure, is quite another matter. Just saying "no" is not going to be enough. Brave declarations to Zionist audiences will not change a thing.

Jerusalem has seen many battles. The first big diplomatic battle of the current century in Jerusalem may be around the scope of the "settlement freeze." It would not be the first time that the fate of Jerusalem would be determined by a seeming triviality.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000694.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 5 Comments

"No nation, organization, church, or international organization that failed to
actively protest the exclusion of Jews from east Jerusalem and Jewish Holy
Places from 1948 to 1967 has any moral right to have a say in the future of
Jerusalem.
That means the US, Europe, and the UN."

Thomas Braun, Sunday, June 7th


Arabs are notorious for their distortion of history, and we must tirelessly expose their lies.
However we are not above blame where Jerusalem is concerned. Under Jordanian rule, the Arab Jerusalem was just 6 square kilometers. After the Six-Days War we had annexed those 6 and another 64 and called all that the Jerusalem! Since then the Arab villagers, who had never been Jerusalemites, became happy recepients of our National Insurance benefits, and they can reside and work legally anywhere from Eilat to Golan.
So I would gladly withdraw from the Arab Jerusalem and let the Palestine feed her proud citizens.

Misha Shauli, Friday, May 22nd


Al Quds - the Arabic term for Jerusalem is simply an Arabic contradiction of Al Bayt Maqudassah. In Hebrew it means El Beit Mikadash. The House Of G-d, e.g, the Jewish Temple. The Arabs themselves acknowledge the Jewish antiquity of Jerusalem in their chosen name for it. And that won't change no matter how much they try to erase the Jewish history of the city.

NormanF, Friday, May 22nd


The city has had a Jewish majority since 1844 - long before Eretz Israel had a Jewish majority. Connecting Jewish Jerusalem to Maale Adumim should be Israel's answer to all outside attempts to force the re-division of the city. Who cares what Hillary Clinton and the goyim say? What matters is what the Jews do about it and it doesn't really matter if the rest of the world never recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. They can go pound sand!

NormanF, Friday, May 22nd


Palestinian rhetoric that Jews never lived in Jerusalem prior to 1967 is untrue, unhelpful and insulting

e landy, Friday, May 22nd


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