spacer.png, 0 kB
Home arrow Columnists arrow Archives arrow Jerusalem’s Fate
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
 
Jerusalem’s Fate Print E-mail

By Jay Bushinsky
August 12, 2009

The list of nations that conquered and ruled this magnificent city goes back more than 3,000 years to the era of King David and even earlier. It was and still is the ultimate prize to which all the victors in the Holy Land's wars aspired -- Hebrews, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks, British and Israelis.  The Jordanians took its Old City and most of the Arab-populated environs, but not its Jewish segment (except for the Old City's Jewish Quarter).

Each of these nations paid the requisite military price in valor and blood. Now, for the first time in history, a self-declared nation that also lays claim to its shrines, spires, walls and residential districts, expects to take it in full or in part without firing a shot -- the Palestinians.

This objective was one of the many controversial demands proclaimed at the unruly and sometimes chaotic conference convened in the West Bank city of Bethlehem as the Palestinian (National) Authority's ruling Fatah movement's first congress in 20 years.  (It also was the first ever held on what most members of the international community as well as the world's news media regard as "Palestinian soil."

President Mahmoud Abbas, popularly known as Abu-Mazen, tried to bolster his political backers' reputation by adopting the same hard-line attitude toward Jerusalem as does his Iranian-backed Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip. Until the 2,000 delegates from all over the Middle East as well as the West Bank arrived in Bethlehem, one of the Palestinian Authority's principal demands was that Jerusalem must be the capital of the projected Palestinian state. 

But the PA stopped short of specifying the geographical dimensions that this would entail.  In Bethlehem, it declared that at least half if not all of the city must be Palestinian, depending on how the relevant resolution is interpreted.  This is a very strange turn of events.
 
It reflects the uncanny fact that the Palestinians already have won the support of the U.S. and the consent of Israel to turn the West Bank and Gaza Strip into a sovereign state under their exclusive rule.  If this becomes a reality, they will be the first nation in the history of the Holy Land to gain control over a major segment of its terrain without lifting a military finger.

If this scenario materializes, the Palestinian could then be considered the ultimate and only long-term winner of the Six-Day War of June, 1967.  Israel already has relinquished the Sinai Peninsula, which it took from Egypt in that conflict, and is being urged to give up most if not all of the Golan Heights, which it took from Syria.  The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip literally sat out that watershed military struggle and did not fight in any of its battles, but were enabled to gain the status of territorial claimants largely through the unscrupulous use of terrorist tactics and the exploitation of Israel's political short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness.
 
Israel could have annexed the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, when their respective Palestinian populations lost faith in the ability and commitment of the surrounding Arab states to protect them, but chose not to do so because its religious political parties balked at the prospect of a large non-Jewish element being incorporated into Israel's domain, among other irrational reasons. 

Nor did Israel seize the opportunity it had in 1988, when the late King Hussein of Jordan announced that the West Bank no longer belonged to his kingdom.  Instead of stepping into the breach, the Israelis launched secret (and illegal) negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (an internationally-recognized terrorist group) the outcome of which was the Oslo Accords of 1993 and the creation of the Palestinian (National) Authority as an embryonic Palestinian state.

With these and other diplomatic errors in mind, one might conclude that the Israelis
are woefully short on tact and tragically inept in tactics.   A recent case in point: the police summary expulsion of two Arab families from their homes in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah quarter. 

As soon as the longtime residents were thrown into the street, oblivious orthodox Jewish militants occupied their former apartments -- all this on the strength of a local court decision.  No official, either governmental nor municipal, tried to soften the blow, offer alternative accommodations or at least express empathy.  This behavior, which was condemned by the U.S., certainly did not strengthen Israel's claim that Jerusalem must remain a unified city under exclusively Israeli rule.


Comments (0) >> feed
Write comment
quote
bold
italicize
underline
strike
url
image
quote
quote
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley

busy
 
< Prev   Next >
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
Copyright © 2005 - 2017 - MGI NEWS - All rights reserved. Web Design & Maintenance By: AA TECH DESIGN spacer.png, 0 kB
MGI News is the sole U.S. incorporated news and programming organization specializing in the Middle East directed by Jay Bushinsky, founding Bureau Chief of CNN Jerusalem. Topics from President Barak Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hizbollah and more...

Topics include: Middle East News, President Barak Obama, Netanyahu, Abbas, Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hizbollah, Goldstone Report, Nobel Peace Prize,Al Qaeda, Terrorists in the U.S., Iran, Palestinians, Israel, Enriched Uranium, Two-State Solution, UN Security Council, Human Rights Commission, Paelstinian Authority, Yitzhak Noy, Elif Ural and more...