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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

3 PARA Review And The Issue Of Dividing Jerusalem

Posted by Atilla89 on March 13, 2008

Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I have been very busy with work and with uni. The situation is going to get even more busier so don’t expect many posts in the future. Don’t worry, I will do my best to keep posting as much as physically possible in this situation. First I want to talk about the book that I am reading at the moment, 3 Para. Its a very good book about the British in Afghanistan during the summer of 2006. Its a great read which talks about the war from the soldier’s point of view as well as talking a little bit about the current (then) situation in Afghanistan during the beginning. It successfully combines history, politics and the personal soldiers to make a really memorable read. Get this book from Amazon here. You can also check out what other people have thought of this book. I also want to add something from one of the reviewers which will have significance once you read the book.

“As a postscript (and not part of the book itself), readers will be interested to know that the Commanding Officer of 3 Para Battle Group – Lt. Colonel Stuart Tootal DSO OBE (the DSO being awarded for his outstanding service in Afghanistan) resigned in November 2007 after attacking the Ministry of Defence over “poor pay for soldiers, lack of equipment, the standard of army housing and poor medical treatment afforded to his injured soldiers.”

I was recently emailed this article about the issue of Jerusalem in regards to negotiations between Israel and the PA. The article’s belief is that it is not a matter of if and whether, it is a matter of when and how Jerusalem will be divided. I don’t have a link that I can show you for this article, however, I can tell you that this was written by Douglas Bloomfield in 2008, it is called ‘Dividing Jerusalem – when, not whether’.

Jerusalem will be divided. The question isn’t whether, but when and how. The city’s borders have been shifting for 3,000 years.

Today’s borders will not be tomorrow’s. Already the security barrier cuts off some parts of the city, and the Palestinian Authority, with American funding, is building a road linking East Jerusalem to Ramallah.

The Jewish majority is shrinking as many secular Jews move away, complaining “the city is too poor, too Orthodox and too Arab,” reports the JTA. If a few years, if the present borders remain unchanged, David’s City could be come Daud’s City and have a Palestinian mayor.

This actually is a very real problem. I remember last year when I was in Israel, my tour guide was talking about the issue of there being a lot of Arabs in Jerusalem and what would happen to the city when they were a majority. The problem is, these people can vote. I’ve heard arguments that range from imposing Apartheid on these people to stop them from voting, but I believe that is fundamentally wrong in principle.

Ariel Sharon understood the inevitability of dividing the city; his initial plans for the security barrier included putting some Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the far side. American Jews who are increasingly demanding a voice in deciding the fate of Jerusalem understand the same reality; many oppose any change in the city’s borders, including jettisoning Arab neighborhoods that were added only after 1967, because they oppose any and all land for peace deals with the Palestinians.

Without Jerusalem, no deal is possible. There will be no end to the Arab-Israeli conflict nor will there be international recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, even by the United States.

I kind of agree with the above plan, however I don’t think it will work. The PA will just demand more and more of Jerusalem until they control all of it. It may work, however I have my doubts. As well as this, Bibi brings up another good point as to why this may not work.

All too often talk of an “undivided” Jerusalem is less about preserving Jewish patrimony than blocking a peace settlement with the Palestinians. There is a two-state consensus among Israelis today, but there is also a vocal rejectionist camp. One of its leaders is Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that if he becomes prime minister again he will shut down the US-initiated peace talks begun at Annapolis last November.

This Jeremiah of his generation warns that if Israel leaves any part of Jerusalem “Hamas comes in” and will “start rocketing” and shooting into the Jewish neighborhoods. Withdrawal, he told American Jewish leaders recently, “will just put us one step closer to being forced out of the whole country.”

It is true that allowing Palestinians to build up this close to Jerusalem will allow them to build rockets and use that area as a staging base into Israel. There are two ways to counter this however, one is that the IDF will have to keep a continuous eye on that area and two is that the PA might just be able to control their own militia (terrorists). You can imagine my skepticism I’m sure. You can read the whole article by pressing the ‘more’ link.

Jerusalem will be divided. The question isn’t whether, but when and how. The city’s borders have been shifting for 3,000 years.

Today’s borders will not be tomorrow’s. Already the security barrier cuts off some parts of the city, and the Palestinian Authority, with American funding, is building a road linking East Jerusalem to Ramallah.

The Jewish majority is shrinking as many secular Jews move away, complaining “the city is too poor, too Orthodox and too Arab,” reports the JTA. If a few years, if the present borders remain unchanged, David’s City could be come Daud’s City and have a Palestinian mayor.

Ariel Sharon understood the inevitability of dividing the city; his initial plans for the security barrier included putting some Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the far side. American Jews who are increasingly demanding a voice in deciding the fate of Jerusalem understand the same reality; many oppose any change in the city’s borders, including jettisoning Arab neighborhoods that were added only after 1967, because they oppose any and all land for peace deals with the Palestinians.

Without Jerusalem, no deal is possible. There will be no end to the Arab-Israeli conflict nor will there be international recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, even by the United States.

Most of the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem have no Jews living there, noted former top U.S. peace negotiator Amb. Dennis Ross, questioning why Israel would want to absorb nearly a quarter of a million Arabs who live in parts of the city where Jews don’t visit.

A bigger question may actually be whether Jerusalem’s Arabs want their homes and property transferred to the Palestinian state and lose their Israeli permanent residency status and its accompanying social, educational, economic and other benefits. Polls indicate they would welcome the establishment of a Palestinian state but have little desire to move there; not unlike many American Jews’ attitude toward Israel.

Jerusalem has been on the negotiating table at least since 1979, and may or may not still be there, depending on whom you believe. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert mollifies his critics by assuring them his is not discussing Jerusalem with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who says just the opposite for the same reason – their own political survival.

Each leader has a domestic constituency and Diaspora to worry about, and each faces death threats if it appears he’s giving away too much. Abbas also has a plethora of Moslem and Arab states whose hechsher or approval he needs for any agreement.

Olmert’s lack of public support for changing Jerusalem’s boundaries makes little difference because the discussions with the bifurcated Palestinian Authority aren’t going anywhere near where that would be necessary.

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 following the Six Day War, lines were drawn to reflect security considerations and to include as few Arabs as possible. Nonetheless, the Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp and some 28 Palestinian villages not previously considered part of the city wound up within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries.

All too often talk of an “undivided” Jerusalem is less about preserving Jewish patrimony than blocking a peace settlement with the Palestinians. There is a two-state consensus among Israelis today, but there is also a vocal rejectionist camp. One of its leaders is Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that if he becomes prime minister again he will shut down the US-initiated peace talks begun at Annapolis last November.

This Jeremiah of his generation warns that if Israel leaves any part of Jerusalem “Hamas comes in” and will “start rocketing” and shooting into the Jewish neighborhoods. Withdrawal, he told American Jewish leaders recently, “will just put us one step closer to being forced out of the whole country.”

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said, “In this case, the Jerusalem issue is simply one more way to block a peace agreement without having to specifically articulate that view – which is not acceptable to the broader Jewish community.”

Meanwhile, the future of Jerusalem is becoming a source of growing tension between the Olmert government and Diaspora leaders, many of who are demanding at least a voice, if not a vote, in any decision.

Israeli leaders privately resent what they consider the paternalism of American Jewish machers who, they note, don’t live in Israel, don’t vote, don’t pay taxes and don’t serve in the army.

Jerusalem is an emotionally charged issue and while Olmert is correct in saying it is a political decision for Israelis ultimately to make, ignoring the voices of the Diaspora would seriously fray the ties that bind them together. It will be up to Israeli leaders to educate Jewish and Christian supporters that redrawing municipal boundaries is not splitting the city asunder but making it a stronger capital of a stronger Jewish state.

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One Response to “3 PARA Review And The Issue Of Dividing Jerusalem”

  1. […] Culture Politique wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I have been very busy with work and with uni. The situation is going to get even more busier so don’t expect many posts in the future. Don’t worry, I will do my best to keep posting as much as physically possible in this situation. First I want to talk about the book that I am reading at the moment, 3 Para. Its a very good book about the British in Afghanistan during the summer of 2006. Its a great read which talks about the war from the soldier’s point of v […]

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