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We Jews are no doubt a very clever people. Just ask any Jew and he or she will tell you about our Nobel prize winners, about Maimonides, about Baruch d'Espinoza, about Albert Einstein and many others. Any Anti-Semite will also tell you how clever and shrewd we Jews are. So it is not surprising that one of the tribe has come up with an earthshaking proposal that will make the Middle East safe for peace. He is not just any Jew. He is a journalist for Ha'aretz, which considers itself the cleverest and most sophisticated of all Israeli newspapers, and he is not just any journalist. He is the internationally renowned Yossi Melman. Everyone knows how clever and knowledgeable he is.

Melman's proposal is that Israel will give up claiming Jerusalem as its capital. Don't get excited, it's only temporary, maybe for a thousand years or so, until tempers cool down a bit. After all, we waited 2,000 years, so what's another little temporary delay for us Jewish people? This will, Melman assures us, remove a major obstacle to peace. Who among us is not ready to make sacrifices for peace? Melman also proposes that the Palestinians will give up claiming Jerusalem as their capital. Since the Palestinians do not have men of genius among them like Melman, that is not likely to happen until Hell freezes over, so perhaps Melman's proposal is a bit impractical. On the other hand, Melman's proposal is timed impeccably to coincide with the EU resolution proposed by the Swedes. That which would recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, but would not recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Swedes will love the Melman plan.

Melman's reasoning is that Israel and the Palestinians are the only two peoples who claim a city as capital for "religious reasons." That is why Melman thinks we claim Jerusalem as our capital. Perhaps we want to rebuild the temple there and have animal sacrifices. There are a few people who would like to do that, but of course that is not the reason we want Jerusalem as the capital, and contrary to Muslim propaganda, there are no plans to rebuild any temple. Saudi Arabia, Melman notes, does not make its capital in Mecca. One reason that might be so is that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca, which would make foreign relations a bit difficult. Melman also thinks evidently, that it is only a coincidence that the Palestinians claim the same city as a capital as the Jews. It must be well established, in Melman's view, that Jerusalem was always the capital of the Palestinian state, right? I didn't hear of any such state, but Melman is the expert on the Middle East, not I. Melman doesn't suspect that Palestinians might have an impure ulterior motive in claiming Jerusalem as their capital.

Very well then. For the sake of peace, relying on the word of an expert, we shall relinquish Jerusalem as our capital, as per the Melman plan. We can adopt, for example, Tel-Aviv or Herzliya Pituach as our capital. These are fine examples of forward - looking Zionist industry, a pleasant contrast to the backward and filthy Jerusalem. We shall change the lyrics of our national anthem, Hatikva, so that the words are "to be a free people in our own land, the land of Israel and Herzliya Pituach." And we shall change the name of our national movement to Herzliya Pituachism, because "Zion" after all, is a place in Jerusalem and a poetic allusion to Jerusalem.

There are people who will tell you that Yossi Melman has forgotten more about the Middle East than most of us ever knew. In any case, he certainly forgot a few important things. The Emperor Vespasian understood that Jerusalem is the key to this country, and that whoever holds Jerusalem and makes it his capital will rule here. The next person to teach this lesson was Salah al Din (whom you may know as Saladin) who ousted the Crusaders "temporarily" from Jerusalem. The Crusaders did not understand that they would never return, but Salah al-Din did.

Yossi Melman does does not understand that if we give up Jerusalem as our capital "temporarily" we shall not return there for a millennium most likely, but Mahmoud Abbas and Abbas Zaki can teach him. Zaki, the PLO ambassador to Lebanon explained in 2008:

Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."

To underline the point, he expanded his thesis in 2009:

"With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made Ė just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward."

Yossi Melman and the editors of Ha'aretz will be very surprised to find out that after we give up Jerusalem and make, for example, Herzliya Pituach our capital, in order to avoid strife, the Palestinians will prove that a PalestinianstatewithHerzliyaPituach as its capital is what is needed to end the conflict, that it is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people, guaranteed in international legitimacy and stated in all the applicable UN resolutions, as well as the UN Charter and the vouchsafed by the European Union and the International Court of Justice. Judge Goldstone will no doubt back their claim, as will Richard Falk.

The lands of Tel-Aviv and Yaffo ("Jaffa") were likely part of Philistia and not Judea, and the Palestinian Arabs could claim them as their own. Yaffo, under "international legitimacy" (UN General Assembly Resolution 181) was to have been part of the Arab state, not the Jewish state. Tel Aviv, as claimed by the boycotters of the Toronto Film Festival, was built on Arab villages. If Muhammad did not park his flying horse there, then perhaps he visited it with a flying camel. No matter that the land was purchased a hundred years ago. Once someone makes a claim in "international legitimacy," we must obediently honor the claim. Jewish religious and historical claims may be treated as "myths," but the journey of Muhammad on his flying horse is to be reverenced as rock-solid proven fact. If Muhammad got to Jerusalem on a flying horse, and tethered his horse at the Wailing Wall (which just by coincidence happens to be holy to the Jews), he certainly must've reached Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, and tied up his horse, al-Buraq, at the Yaffo clock tower. It will be discovered that the Yaffo clock tower was long known as al Buraq.

As for Herzliya Pituach, it is the location of the famed Sidna Ali Mosque, and used to the the location of the village of Al Haram, which any Palestinian Arab patriot will no doubt inform you was a bustling and prosperous metropolis before the wicked Zionists depopulated it. Yossi Melman would certainly advise us not to make a capital there. In short, there is no place in Israel that could be made the capital city of a Jewish state without arousing the ire of the Palestinians and of the Swedish government, and bringing down on our heads all the imprecations due to those who violate "international legitimacy" as interpreted by the Mufti of Jerusalem.

The next logical and inevitable step for any persecuted people needing asylum is to seek a new home, It would be a temporary home of course, until all the bad feelings quiet down, a Nachtasyl as it is called in German - a night refuge. After all, the Jews, as Yossi Melman and Ha'aretz will remind us, are the only people who attach a religious significance to their homeland. We could just as well (or better) live in New Zealand, where there are friendly people and lots of water, or perhaps East Africa or the Jewish Autonomous Area in Birobidjan.

Territorial Zionism, the search for a territory outside the land of Israel for the Jewish people, was, of course, already tried. What in theory might have been a promising idea that could have saved the Jews of Europe, was in practice a miserable failure. It turns out that you can't take the Zion out of Zionism. The Jews would not accept it. This was true not only of religious Jews, but of radical Marxist atheist Jews.

It is a great plan, but nationalism is not logical. Aside from the Jews and almost everyone else, nobody would object. The Jews would not move to a new land, and defend their right to that land, were it not the ancient land of our forefathers. And were it not the ancient land of our forefathers, there would be no right for the Jews to defend -- no right that anyone would recognize. Alas for the Jews! We awakened too late from our national slumbers. Had we gone searching for a home a few hundred years earlier, we might have discovered America and claimed that. But by the end of the nineteenth century there were no more lands open to colonization. The Jewish people had no place on Earth to go but home, and would not move en masse to any other place. Just as they would not accept East Africa as their home, Jews will not accept Tel Aviv or Herzliya Pituach as their capital.

Yossi Melman is quite right that the earthly Jerusalem is a fairly miserable place. With its armies of black -coated and fur-hatted (they do not recognize the Zionist weather) anti-Zionist Haredi Jewish religious fanatics, and its growing armies of Arab Muslim religious fanatics, its lack of industry and poor infrastructure, it is redolent of the Jerusalem of my great grandparents, a place of the "old Yishuv" - the ultra-orthodox community of Jews that came to Jerusalem to die or to mourn the temple or to hasten the coming of the Messiah at the behest of their Hassidic rabbis and Kabbalist leaders. Over a century of Zionist development has failed to make much of Jerusalem into a part of the rebirth of the Jewish people.

However, for the rest of the world, including the Jews of the Diaspora, our non-Jewish friends, and our non-Jewish opponents, Jerusalem has a different significance. They do not think in terms of the earthly Jerusalem. They think in terms of a heavenly, theoretical Jerusalem, the idea of Jerusalem as a symbol of the eternal Jewish people. Rightly or wrongly, they see Jewish possession of Jerusalem as the goalpost by which to measure the reconstitution of the Jewish nation in its homeland. Not as a religious venue, but as the national polis or city-state of the Jewish people. That is why our friends want to see our capital in Jerusalem, and that is precisely why our enemies want to prevent Jerusalem from being our capital. And that is the compelling reason why the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital - because it is the symbol of Jewish nationalism.

Beginning in the nineteenth century, ancient peoples reconstituted their polities and placed their capitals in the cities that symbolized their national aspirations. The Greeks no longer worship Zeus, and the Italians no longer give homage to Jupiter Stator. Their choices of capitals were not based on religious considerations. Can we imagine Greece with its capital in Piraeus instead of Athens, because the Turks claimed Athens or because Athens was backwards? Can we imagine Italy with its capital elsewhere than in Rome? Why not? Rome is full of religious people, it was claimed by the Popes in fact, and Italian industry is centered around the north of Italy and Milan. Yet the suggestion that Milan, rather than Rome, should be the Italian capital would be greeted with ridicule. Athens was never really the capital of a united Greece, and the later Roman emperors made their capitals in Mediolanum (Milan) and Ravena. The Italians are a gracious people and quick to admit the truth, even if it is not always flattering. Therefore they will forgive me for also mentioning that while Italians are not all descended from Khazars, as is falsely claimed of the modern Jews, modern Italians are in large part the descendants of Gothic and Visigothic invaders, and not the purebred descendants of the ancient and illustrious Roman and Italian peoples. But Rome and Athens symbolize the national aspirations of the Italian and Greek peoples, and the whole world accepts that it is natural that these cities are the capitals of those countries.

You do not have to be a learned expert to know that Jerusalem is to the Jewish people at least what Rome is to the Italians and what Athens is the Greeks. If earthly Jerusalem is a disgrace to Israel, we must ask why we have failed her, and we must repair our capital and make it worthy, rather than abandoning it. For without Zion there will not be Zionism for long, and without Zionism, there will not be a Jewish state of Israel.

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/00000725.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: 7 Comments

Here's a unique idea. How about every time a suicide bomber kills someone our a Hamas/Hezbollah rocket befalls Israel, take more of Dar al Islam away from the Muslims. The religion of Islam teaches eternal hatred for the Jew as the "enemy of Allah". Even if you get peace today, who says it doesn't come back to bite you 100 years from know when Israel had dropped its guard? Ever heard of Hudna?

nojizyatax, Saturday, February 6th


When will ISRAEL & the world wake up to the fact that this is an Islamic religious war against Israel & the West? The Muslims see Israel as part of Dar al Islam. No matter what you do, they'll find a reason to be in conflict so as to have an excuse (palatable to the western tongue) to Murder Jews. Mohammad drew first blood with the Jews over 1400 years ago & the religion has done nothing but preach hatred against the Jew since then. No land for Peace. Peace thru superior fire power.

no jizyatax, Saturday, February 6th


Honestly "Kate", (@ Fri. Dec. 18) you need psychiatric help pronto. On the other hand, perhaps in your case, it's too late for psychiatric counseling and what you really require is a brain transplant.

Lbnaz, Wednesday, January 13th


Honestly, I continue to wonder how a people whom are pharisees and worship trees,molech,the sun,moon and stars are taken as "clever." You all come from every tribe and nation imaginable and arenot of the Judah tribe(only jewish tribe not of Ham and caananites) the paganistic babylonian and jewish talmud that you worship your pagan gods through is why many people wanted you out of their nations. What is funny is, You call gentiles lower than dirt dogs, yet you are gentiles. Your talmud is an abomination to the laws given by Moses(A Levite)from Jehovah God Almighty. Millions of my christian brothers and sisters have been killed by many calling themselves "Jews" but arenot.I would recommend before you consider yourselves so "clever" is that you are of your father the Devil, and he is and was a liar from the very beginning.You people better get back to the Torah and dump your spiritual wickedness or you will burn in the Fire for eternity as it is written in the Holy scriptures.

Kate, Friday, December 18th


Ami,

I don't think the Crusader State fell because it lost Jerusalem. I think it fell because it had nothing but Jerusalem. With the religious fervor and the Holy Sepulcher gone, the Crusader State became nothing more to keep the Crusader State alive. They were just a small bunch of European colonialist nobles and Italian merchants, with little to keep them together. The Palestinians certainly believe that we are like the Crusaders, a bunch of religiously motivated European colonialists who hijacked some 'Arab-Jews', but we should know better. We should know that Zionism is the exact opposite of the Crusader State. It is a real national movement, a real sense of peoplehood, a real need and desire for a national home. Zionism is not about freeing holy sites from infidels, it was about creating a nation-state.

as for Melman. On the face of it he is right. The tri-religious baggage of Jerusalem certainly makes it more difficult to end our conflict, and is an extra-burden on an already difficult situation. He is also right that some countries have their capitals in less significant cities. So, the idea of trying to isolate and remove the religious problems of Jerusalem + the diplomatic problem that follow, is understandable. However, he is wrong about several things.

1) The Vatican model (that I'm proposing) offers a better alternative, since it enables us to isolate only the religious sites in Jerusalem, while retaining other parts of the city as our capital, while the Palestinians can have their own in another part. Since both objectives can be accomplished I think it is better.

2) I do believe that placing the holy sites of Jerusalem under some form of international control is the most practical way to deal with the problem that stem from its religious significance. But Melman is wrong if he thinks changing the label will solve the religious problems. The Arabs and the Jews will fight over Jerusalem until they decide not to fight, regardless of the label.

3) There is no impending peace. The Palestinians apparently are incapable of making peace with us and they will therefore reject this solution or any solution that does not involve the denial of Israel's existence.
However, that is also another reason why I think the Vatican model would be a good proposal for Israel to present, not as part of a peaceful solution (regrettably, although it could also be that) but as an effective weapon in the propaganda-diplomacy war between ourselves and the Palestinians. So far they have succeeded in bamboozling the world by presenting the Jews as the zealots who deny the connection of others to the city, while presenting themselves as the defenders of multi-religious understanding. By offering to share the city's history and religiosity with the world (i.e. the Christians too), we will reveal the truth, that they only tolerate others under Muslim hegemony.

However, I do also believe the Vatican model would be good if peace was a possibility. Right now we control the city but the Muslims and Christians actually control the religious sites + have international respect + are capable of threatening our archeological remains, while we have all the burden and negative publicity of managing the city with no recognition, either of our capital or our historical-religious connection to the city.

I'd rather have the Israeli flag fly in the Old City together with other flags, recognized by the world, than imposed militarily but denied by everybody else. Moreover, while I ordinarily despise international forces and have little faith in them, in this case they might be useful in dealing with zealot demonstrators, protecting and overseeing the archeology, and all that other fun stuff we now do. Unlike actual fighting against terror, this simple police work is not beyond their ability, and the significance of the city will keep them more motivated than vague goals like preventing the death of Israelis.

I'm also enough of a cynic to realize that by offering Christians a stake in the city together with us Jews I'm undercutting the Muslims.

Micha, Monday, December 7th


My dear Micha,
Rome was not transformed into the Vatican. Only the Vatican was. This is not a proposal made by the Mufti Sabri or the Imam Tamimi in Al Quds al Arabi, but a proposal of our own prophet of Middle Eastern Affairs, the renowned scholar and analyst Melman.

The proposal evidently is that West Jerusalem will not be the capital of Israel either, unlike the case of the first 19 years of our existence. Don't forget that the world never recognized Jerusalem - any part of it - as the capital of Israel. Only an act of congress in recent years forced the United States to write that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but despite our "unbreakable bond" the US embassy remains in Tel Aviv. They won't move to West Jerusalem or any other part of Jerusalem. Not even Mevasseret Tziyon. And of course, it is not just the United States.

Saladin believed the Crusader state would collapse without Jerusalem, because Jerusalem was the symbolic capital of the land. Saladin was right. He was a better Middle East analyst than Melman it seems. Israel existed for 19 years without East Jerusalem, but the Crusader state existed for much longer. It existed, but without Jerusalem it was doomed.

Ami I.

Zionism-Israel, Monday, December 7th


Jesus Christ Ami, since when is Zionism about the promised land and chosen people except in the minds of religious zealots and Palestinian propagandists? Since when do we listen the the opinion of people who deny that there even was a temple in Jerusalem? And what happened to the 19 years in which Israel existed without Jerusalem?

Look, I'm not saying Jerusalem is not important--I love there--but not to the point that Zionism will collapse without it.

As a matter of principal I do think the best way to solve the problem of Jerusalem as a religious symbol of three religions is by turning the sacred sites into a kind of Vatican like entity controlled by some international multi-religious entity rather than the government of either nation, while retaining the more corporeal and mostly separate East and west Jerusalems as capitals. It was a good solution for the Italians and their connection with Rome, and better than the solution of the Greeks with Constantinople. It will secure our religious/historical rights as well as the Muslims' (as opposed to their attempt to deny ours). It could also be considered a fulfillment of prophecy, if you are so inclined.

Of course, this is an ideal that will not become reality. The Palestinians will not accept it, as they won't accept anything else. There won't be peace and we will continue to control a Jerusalem which is not recognized by anybody else. But still, it is better for us to appear as the party which is willing, in principal, to compromise on Jerusalem based on our recognition of its religious significance for others, than be the party of religious zealots who deny its significance for others.

This willingness to compromise might fill the heads of the Palestinians with fantasies of the collapse of Zionism, but then what doesn't? And it will earn us much good will from the western countries since it will offer them a religious-historical stake in Jerusalem that the Muslim's will never be willing to offer.

Micha, Sunday, December 6th


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