Keluar #9

O Jerusalem, Take Heed


Amitakh Stanford

12th December 2009

O Jerusalem, take heed. The current situation in Israel is untenable; there is an unending conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews. Jewish inhabitants distrust the Palestinians, and vice versa. The age-old struggle between them has cost many lives, much hardship and untold sorrow. The conflict has generated tremendous anger, hatred and distrust – forcing them to live under a single umbrella has proven to be a formula for unending friction.

In order to allow a chance for peace in the Middle East, something has to give. Wars will not bring an end to it, as they have been going on for centuries with no resolution. Negotiations and mediations between the parties have not worked either.

The two peoples cannot continue to be forced to live together in the contrived single state of Israel. THEY NEED TO BE PERMANENTLY SEPARATED. A new state needs to be formed for the Palestinian occupants of Israel. The only practical solution is to have the new state created with continuous borders and a sea port.

The Gaza Strip is already populated by Palestinians, and it has a sea port. The West Bank is also populated with many Palestinians, so the two should be connected with land. This means that there should be no reason for a citizen of the new Palestinian state to have to cross into Israel to reach some part of his or her country. Likewise, there should be no reason for Israelis to need to cross the Palestinian borders to reach any part of Israel. This will eliminate much of the friction at the borders.

Also, neighbouring countries should consider granting some land to the Palestinians, so that the new state has enough land to reasonably house its people and become a viable nation state.

Jerusalem is a major sticking point in regard to a two-state solution, which affects not only the parties, but peace in the region. Both sides have long-standing reasons to be inflexible regarding the city. Both sides have long historical, cultural and religious reasons for their intransigence regarding Jerusalem. This has led many people to insist that the two-state solution have a shared Jerusalem. That is, severing Jerusalem in twain, part to one nation and part to another, or granting co-ownership of the city to both nation states. Are either of these proposals wise?

The twentieth century saw what happened when secular powers divided up Berlin into sections. The situation was so bellicose that the Berlin Wall was erected to section off the city. For decades, the Wall divided the people and caused tremendous misery until it was finally demolished.

The same mentality of erecting “Berlin Walls” is very active in modern-day Israel, as is seen by the walled-off sections of the West Bank. Fencing off sections of Berlin did not work, and it should not be encouraged in Jerusalem. Further, if there are national borders running through the city of Jerusalem, it will guarantee that there will be continued friction and bloodshed in the city.

It is understood that neither party wants to relinquish all rights to Jerusalem, but, in reality, to have lasting peace in the area, is there any other choice? I suggest that there is not. Many centuries of conflict support my position. Therefore, in my opinion, Jerusalem should either be wholly within the nation of Israel or wholly within the newly created Palestinian state. To accomplish this, one side or the other would necessarily have to relinquish Jerusalem voluntarily, if it is to be settled amicably. It should be realized that the side that vacates Jerusalem should be amply compensated for it when boundaries for the two newly-formed nation states are drawn.

Clearly, both parties’ claims to Jerusalem are heavily based on religious grounds. If neither side will voluntarily relinquish the city, then, after solemn prayers, a lot should be cast over which nation state will house Jerusalem. Those who sincerely believe in the Divine should accept that the lot will result in the Divine’s will being carried out.

I have seen the future for the area presently known as Israel if a two-state solution is not soon implemented, with one of the nation states having exclusive control and ownership of Jerusalem. The future will certainly be filled with many more tears and much more sorrow for everyone in the area. This future can be changed if Jerusalem is given over to one side or the other, and two separate and independent nations are created soon. If this does not happen, I have foreseen that one, later to be known by a name that sounds something like “Ahmad Mahmud” will emerge and take Jerusalem down, and nobody will have it ever after.

© 2009 Amitakh Stanford