Day 22 of the Omer
There are rumblings in the news, like the distant thunder of an approaching storm, and they center on Jerusalem.
First, there is the UNESCO Resolution vote which took place yesterday.
"...the text of the resolution added a sentence according to which Jerusalem is noted as important for the world's three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam."And then there are the many hints coming from the Trump administration with regard to his upcoming trip to Israel at the end of this month and campaign promises made about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
"President Donald Trump is seriously considering moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, according to Vice President Mike Pence; the announcement comes ahead of the scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“What better time could there be to announce the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem than when you are over here celebrating with our Israeli friends this very important 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem?” DeSantis said.In this, the fiftieth year of Jerusalem's reunification, have we now reached the stickiest wicket in the "final status talks"?
The conventional wisdom is probably right: Jerusalem is indeed the most difficult final status issue and should be left for last on the negotiating agenda. There appears to be no way to reconcile Israel’s near-consensus position regarding a united Jerusalem as its capital (more or less all of Jerusalem within the boundaries drawn up in late June 1967) with the Palestinian position demanding Palestinian rule and identity for the estimated 200,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem.
But the remaining Jerusalem issues are negotiable and resolvable. First, the Palestinian demand to locate their capital in Jerusalem could be met by designating areas just outside the Jerusalem borders (drawn up by Israel in 1967) that Palestinians consider Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Abu Dis, near the Mount of Olives, is the best known candidate. It was featured in the Beilin-Abu Mazen simulation final status exercise of 1995. It is the same distance, as the crow flies, from the Temple Mount as is the Israeli Knesset on Givat Ram in West Jerusalem.It does seem to be a logical and reasonable compromise. How better to resolve the interests of all parties? How just and fair? West Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. East Jerusalem will be the capital of Palestine and the Old City, with its sites holy to three religions, will belong to the world as an internationally-administered enclave?
This idea of corpus separatum goes back at least to the founding of the modern state.
Corpus separatum (Latin for "separated body") is a term used to describe the Jerusalem area in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. According to the plan the city would be placed under international regime, conferring it a special status due to its shared religious importance.It is a plan that is looked upon very favorably by the international community and is likely to gain in popularity and support among "moderate" Arabs and Jews as time goes on. Many Israelis will probably say that it is nothing more than a formal establishment of the status quo as Israeli sovereignty has never been exercised over the Temple Mount in any case. Israel already employs a great many, if not even a majority, of Arabs as police in the Old City. It is not even a place that many Israelis visit. It is often viewed more as an open-air museum administered for tourists than as an essential part of Jewish life in the Israeli capital.
I really think this is what is coming and I think it will be sooner rather than later, unless HKB"H intervenes.
See further: The Internationalization of Jerusalem, Internationalizing Jerusalem