Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Time after time the temptation arises: If the Arabs are so intent on claiming parts of Israel and Jerusalem, and are even willing to give their lives by randomly stabbing and running over Jews, why don’t we just come toward them, reach an “agreement,” and give them some pieces of land that anyway are mostly Arab-populated?

This approach formed the basis both for the failed Oslo Agreements of 1993-5, and the wars-causing disengagement/expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005. It also led to the panicky retreat from southern Lebanon, paving the way for the strengthening of Hizbullah there, and stands at the forefront of the continued calls to leave Judea and Samaria. It is the reason why Peace Now, Ir Amim and other left-wing organizations work for our withdrawal from the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.


Let’s consider the last idea: Why do we need the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem? Why not just divide Jerusalem, thus increasing the Jewish population percentage in our holy city, removing the rug from under murderous Palestinian terrorism in the city, and possibly even leading to a historic peace agreement with our enemies?

The answer is simple, though three-fold:

  1. It is unthinkable from a historic and national Jewish standpoint.
  2. It is cumbersome, not implementable, and unworkable.
  3. It would exacerbate the situation. Division of our holy city would not improve security but rather worsen it, and would not increase the Jewish majority in the city but rather diminish it.

Detailed research on this matter strongly buttresses the above conclusions, including the scenario that many Arabs would flood Jewish neighborhoods if there were to be a division of any sort. This of course does not even take into account the damage to the Jewish people’s historical and religious bonds with the Holy City.

To simply redraw the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem so that Arab-populated neighborhoods such as Isawiya (adjacent to French Hill), Jabel Mukabber (next to East Talpiot), and Sur Bahir (near Har Homa) are on the “other side” appears simple and effective – in theory. But on the ground, Jewish residents of these and other neighborhoods will abruptly find themselves guarding the border – exposed to close-range shooting attacks, rockets, and mortar shellfire. The lives of close to a quarter of a million Jews living in eastern Jerusalem would be in daily peril.

How many of them would remain in their homes under such circumstances? Would this not lead directly to a massive outflux of Jews from Jerusalem and result in a demographic crisis?

Perhaps it sounds incredible: Could Jewish neighborhoods in modern-day Jerusalem actually turn into war-torn border zones, under fire of rocket-launching and light weapons-toting terrorists like those who silenced Sderot and Kiryat Shmona for weeks at a time? The short answer is: Yes, it can – and it has happened very recently. Remember Gilo? Within a two-year period during the Oslo War, more than four hundred shooting and other attacks were unleashed on this quiet neighborhood by our enemies in the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jalla. Only after the wounding of dozens, the beginning of voluntary evacuation, the provision of concrete barriers and bulletproof glass, and the abating of the Oslo War did the danger pass.

Very significantly, as Jerusalem expert (and Keep Jerusalem Advisory Board member) Nadav Shragai notes, the Jewish neighborhood of N’vei Yaakov – situated even closer to Arab areas than Gilo is to Beit Jalla – did not come under such fire. Why is this? Shragai explains that the difference is simply “the Israeli presence, albeit under various restrictions, in Shuafat [near N’vei Yaakov] – in contrast to the lack of an Israeli presence in Beit Jalla. Clearly Israel’s control of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem is essential for security and intelligence purposes.”

Arab attempts to manufacture homemade mortar shells and Kassam rockets with which to target Jerusalem are ongoing; it is common knowledge that only the presence of the IDF and the Shabak (General Security Service) contains them.

This boomerang effect is true for demographics as well. For when the security wall/fence was erected in certain areas around Jerusalem, many of the Arabs who found themselves on the “other” side simply moved back “inside.” The reason: they feared losing their precious “Jerusalem resident” status.

However, the danger is greater than meets the eye – for they don’t only move to Arab neighborhoods, but have now also begun moving into Jewish neighborhoods. It is patently clear that the attempt to push Arabs out of Jerusalem by means of fences or new borders will mean that many of them will simply come farther in.

In short: To withdraw from Arab neighborhoods would decrease neither the terror nor the demographic threats in Jerusalem; it would enhance both.

For more information on how to participate in keeping Jerusalem Jewish, send an e-mail to or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at



  1. There will never be peace… they will always think palastine existed and they will always want to kill us… either they clean up their neighborhoods of animals or we get behind thanks and threw them out of our land which they got for free…. the land was in exchange for them behaving like humans which ofcourse did not hapen. Sharon had the right idea but it could not work with wild animals.

    Peace works between nations. It worked with egypt, jordan… palastine is not a nation… someone needs to audience billions in aids that they get… where does all that money go?

  2. Return what belongs to Israel
    These people do not just want Israel , which is not theirs in the first place, they want the world and to live off the backs of the working class . They also want an all moslem world , which means , us all dead. There is enough Arabic land and money which they obtained from us. They have plenty. This is a political movement for a one world government . Wake up !

  3. The only solution is an undivided Jerusalem because it only belongs to the Jews. Give the Arabs a month to dismantle that abomination desecrating the Temple Mount and move it, and all Arabs, to their home state in Gaza. Arabs that served with distinction in the IDF can remain if they desire.

  4. Today, President Obama and Europe want ONLY a half of Jerusalem for the Sunni Palestinians, the BROTHERS of the Sunnis from the Islamic State…
    But if the 'militants' with the Black Flag come into the Old City, it is difficult to believe that millions people will be able to visit the Christian Holy Sites.
    And what will happen then?
    Hallelujah! Hallelujaaah…!

  5. Kindly note that many politicians don't accept that United Jerusalem is the Capital of the State of Israel, but if the Sunni Palestinians receive East Jerusalem, SUDDENLY Jerusalem will have the status of capital of both states…!
    Very strange, isn't it?!

  6. Amen Alcida, Israrl has given them what is NOT theirs, God gave it to them, long before Palestine was even thought of, For Gods sake, they have enough land that isn’t develo p ed, Jordan offered the Palestinians land and they said no they want Israels land, it has nothing to do with making peace, it is a political movement we have seen it throughout the world,and people just close their eyes and let it all happen, enough, Israel, do NOT give one piece of sand to them, kick them out of Israel and close the borders. Praying fot you Israel, you have suffered enough.

  7. Cas ve challilah that they will enter… but if UN or other nations do enter, or try to enter, they will surely die on the mountains of Jerusalem. Eze 38/9. Nevertheless, I dread to see that day; yet Messiah's coming and final victory is more than welcome in this world so hungry to mercy and justice.

  8. If u divide Jerusalem , judgement will fall upon those who do it .. “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and DIVIDED UP my land. … And since it is written it will come to Pass .. but it will not bring Peace to Israel but judgement !!

  9. It will be divided because it is written , a “Peace Treaty” will be signed and confirmed in Israel between Israel and many for 7 years but it will be a fake Peace , in the middle of these years period they will break the accord and invade Jerusalem , the jewish people will finally open their eyes to see they were deceived and it will be so terrible … sad

  10. What A short memory people have?!
    Up until 67 the city was divided' did it bring security back then?
    Why the state of Palestine was not, after all the PLO was created at 64 and Jordan occupied the territories?!
    And the biggest Deception of is that the main excuse for this violent is our oppression!!!
    Is it?
    Well all they need to do is to accept the idea that
    1. we came back home and for good this time!
    2. They want to gain this land by glory of the war [holy or just war] and they will not going to get your cooperation!
    No more compromising on our dream for 2000 years, they can live along side us an enjoy life or they can continue!!!
    Leaston to this, it says it all!

  11. Rediculous assumption to begin with. Arabs would not be happy if they were hung with a NEW rope. There is not enough terrirtory you could give them that would bring peace. Their goal is to take everything. We must give them nothing. If they persist, send them to Jordan and let them visit the Dome. They might be missed in the Old Ciity markets, but that's it. They live off the backs of Jews, and they are not too sweet about it.

  12. Sad conclusion. When Jordan controlled Jerusalem, after they aggressively conquered it, Jerusalem was divided. We couldn’t go to the Wall or the Old City, there were barriers everywhere, shots rang out every nite, Jews were expelled from the areas they conquered, and they desecrated Jewish landmarks.

  13. Alan, I don't understand your comment at all, and normally agree to with your comments. Danny Ayalon also has a youtube video explaining why Jerusalem CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT be divided, which is deteailed also here. I see nothing dumb about this article. Did you misread it?

  14. Sonia Willats Yes.Excellent!Thank you for response. Now all thats needed is for proper authorities to find an agreeable solution as to legal obligations as to all pertaining parties.War only leads to further wars.All affected Countries in United effort must arrive at an ammicable solution.Since war affects all with vital interests whether financially or emotionally."Jury of your piers,so to speak".Once an agreed upon compromise can be settled upon.Both parties can go to their respective "homes".Then start to rebuild country as well as friendships. Shalom.

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