The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

If plans to di­vide Jerusalem “should not shock us” ( Leader, Novem­ber 9), it is only be­cause re­cent Is­raeli lead­ers have per­formed such dra­matic U-turns and taken such colos­sal se­cu­rity risks that the un­think­able has now be­come pos­si­ble and even the most sa­cred has be­come ne­go­tiable.

As if the fail­ures of Oslo ac­cords and the Gaza and Le­banon with­drawals were not suf­fi­ciently painful, the mere dis­cus­sion of con­ces­sions on Jerusalem turns the fi­nal re­main­ing frag­ments of the “Zion­ist dream” into a night­mare. The last time such out­ra­geous plans were mooted, dur­ing the Barak ad­min­is­tra­tion, they were frus­trated only by Pales­tinian in­tran­si­gence. This time, at An­napo­lis, the Pales­tini­ans might just de­cide to ac­cept the plans, see­ing the di­vi­sion of Is­rael’s cap­i­tal as the most sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone yet to­wards the achieve­ment of their ul­ti­mate aim.

At this time of po­lit­i­cal blind­ness, we must in­ten­sify our prayers for mirac­u­lous in­ter­ven­tion since, at the hu­man level, the poli­cies of Olmert and his co­horts chart the path­way to na­tional sui­cide. Brian Gor­don High Street, Edg­ware, Middx HA8

A so­lu­tion ac­cept­able to all par­ties de­pends on how you de­fine Jerusalem.

The mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries of Jerusalem, which Is­rael lived with from 1948 to 1967, were rad­i­cally re­drawn af­ter the Six-Day War, and have been sub­ject to a num­ber of re­vi­sions since. The ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion is to re­de­fine the bound­aries of Jerusalem one last time — and, in so do­ing, to de­fine the bound­aries of a new mu­nic­i­pal­ity, AlQuds. The new Jerusalem mu­nic­i­pal­ity would en­com­pass the Jewish sub­urbs and as many of the set­tle­ments in the cur­rent Jerusalem as prac­ti­ca­ble; the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Al-Quds would cover the mainly Arab sub­urbs, and also the ad­ja­cent Arab towns of the West Bank.

An agreed re­draw­ing of bound­aries would en­able Is­rael to have Jerusalem as its un­di­vided cap­i­tal, while the new sov­er­eign Pales­tinian state would ac­quire its own sis­ter cap­i­tal, Al-Quds. This so­lu­tion would, of course, still leave the mat­ter of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the holy places in the Old City for res­o­lu­tion. Neville Teller Stone­grove, Edg­ware HA8

Since the plans of the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment in­clude ced­ing the Tem­ple Mount to the Pales­tini­ans, how would the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment ad­dress the pos­si­bil­ity that the Tem­ple Mount be con­verted into a mis­sile launch site that could reach all of Is­rael? It would make the per­fect shield, be­cause any at­tempt to re­tal­i­ate could re­sult in dam­age to the mosques and thus in­spire more wide­spread vi­o­lence. Her­bert Kaine At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, USA

Let us agree to the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment talk­ing about di­vid­ing Jerusalem with the Pales­tinian Mus­lims. How­ever, Is­rael must do noth­ing un­til such time that the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment gives a part of Lon­don to the two mil­lion Mus­lims in the UK for their self-de­ter­mi­na­tion; the French gov­ern­ment gives a part of Paris to the 5.5 mil­lion Mus­lims in France; and so on, through­out Chris­tian Europe. Dr John Slome Walm Lane, Lon­don, NW2

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