From the United States to the European Union to the developing countries, political leaders are calling for the division of Jerusalem. Such proclamations disregard the deep historically Jewish attachment to the city and the fact that true freedom of worship for all three monotheistic religions has only occurred under Jewish rule. They ignore the fact that Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority, not an Arab one, for over 100 years and that even a majority of the city’s Arab population prefer Israeli rule to the Palestinian Authority’s dictatorship.
However, strangely enough, many of these same political leaders who make these proclomations are not inherently hostile towards Israel. Indeed, the very same people who often claim that they respect Israel’s security needs and state that they support Israel’s right to exist as Jewish state will also proclaim that Israel needs to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and the division of Jerusalem.Yet, what many fail to grasp is that the division of Jerusalem is contrary to the security and sovereignty of the State of Israel.
Anyone who has any doubt what a future Palestinian state will look like need look no further than Gaza. When Israel controlled Gaza, the coastal strip was full of beautiful Jewish agricultural communities with lovely greenhouses full of beautiful plants. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, she left the greenhouses in place, thinking that they would assist the local Palestinians economically. The first thing that the Palestinians did upon the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was to destroy them and convert them into rocket launching sites. As a result, all Israeli communities that live close to Gaza have been under a constant barrage of terror attacks ever since.
A Jewish withdrawal of half of Jerusalem would make the situation in Sderot look like paradise. For starters, the Jews would be cut off from the Kotel–one of the holiest shrines in Judaism, as well as the Old City’s numerous historic synagogues, such as the Hurva and Four Sephardic Synagogues. Jews would also be cut off from the Mount of Olives Cemetery, where Menechem Begin and many prominent Jewish thinkers are buried, as well as The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the French Hill neighborhood. Additionally, this places the great archaeological finds of the City of David Archaeological Park into the hands of people who don’t even respect the preservation of Islamic history, much less the history of others. Jews would also be barred from visiting the grave of Shimon Ha-Tzadik or King David.
If this were not enough, the entire nation of Israel would be within the reach of Palestinian terror organizations. The hills of Judea and Samaria right outside Jerusalem would be utilized to launch rockets at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, and even Haifa. Thus, almost all of Israel, and not just the southern part, would be living under rocket fire.
No Israeli citizen would be out of the reach of the Palestinian terror organizations should Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders and re-divide Jerusalem. For these reasons, it is pivotal that Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people.
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About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."
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