Jerusalem di­vided

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

The news that se­nior Is­raeli fig­ures are work­ing out prac­ti­cal plans for a fu­ture di­vi­sion of Jerusalem should in­ter­est but, per­haps, not shock us. It is the role of any re­spon­si­ble gov­ern­ment con­tin­u­ously to de­velop sce­nar­ios, how­ever dis­tant and un­likely they may seem. But what is of par­tic­u­lar note is that this most re­cent project on the fu­ture of Jerusalem ap­pears to be un­usu­ally de­tailed and ad­vanced. It takes in the strate­gic, le­gal, eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic im­pli­ca­tions of what would need to be a most del­i­cate dis­sec­tion. This sug­gests that se­nior gov­ern­ment fig­ures are tak­ing the idea of Jerusalem as the fu­ture cap­i­tal of both Is­rael and a Pales­tinian state very se­ri­ously. But if its fate is to be di­vided, prepa­ra­tions will have to go far be­yond the level of mere city plan­ning and ad­min­is­tra­tive func­tion. Build­ing a con­sen­sus among both Is­raeli and di­as­pora Jewish opin­ion will also be cru­cial. When Is­raeli lead­ers talk about their will­ing­ness to make painful sac­ri­fices for peace, Jerusalem is a par­tic­u­larly ex­cru­ci­at­ing is­sue. And thus far, there do not seem to be any spe­cial com­mit­tees to take on that emo­tional chal­lenge.

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