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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A two state solution has nothing to do with Jerusalem

This Reuters article pushes one of the biggest myths around:

Named for the crash site of an airforce plane shot down during the Six Day War in 1967, Givat HaMatos may yet prove the place where Palestinian hopes of a creating a capital in Jerusalem also plunge to earth.

'Airplane Hill' lies on the southern fringes of Jerusalem's city limits -- rock-strewn land dotted with shabby, prefabricated bungalows and the occasional pine tree.

Once a tranquil backwater, the area has become the focus of hectic activity in the last six months, with Israeli authorities releasing plans for 2,610 housing units and 1,110 hotel rooms.

With the approval process going more quickly than expected, building could start later this year, creating the first new Israeli settlement in 15 years among the sprawl of a modern Jerusalem that is spread out over many hills.

If that happens, it would effectively cut off the city's Palestinian neighborhoods from Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, imperiling the Palestinians' prospects for establishing a coherent capital and with it their goal of an independent state.

"There is only so much territorial abuse this tortured land can take before we kill the political options of saving the two- state solution," said Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli attorney who monitors urban developments he thinks affect chances for peace.
In 1947, the Zionists accepted a two-state solution without Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital. The reason was because the desire to have a state - no matter what the boundaries - was far more important than anything else.

If statehood and independence is the most important goal for Palestinian Arabs, they would act the same way and would have their state today.

Why does Reuters say, as a fact, that only Jerusalem can be the Palestinian state's "coherent capital?"

Just because Palestinian Arabs insist that Jerusalem is essential to their having a state does not make it so. Indeed, it is provably false, as Ramallah is currently the effective capital of the PA.

They can add Jerusalem to any list of demands they want. They can also demand that Netanyahu do six consecutive somersaults on live television before any peace agreement. But arbitrary demands do not automatically become essential for a two state solution just because Arabs assert it.

Those who mix up Arab demands and a real two-state solution are not doing anything to advance the cause of peace.