The realist case for not dividing Jerusalem

I believe Jerusalem should be divided but I wanted to point out that I think the foreign policy realism (of the non-Dish mutation) would discourage it:

What if someday, a month or a decade after peace is declared, popular Palestinian frustration again expresses itself in violence? Beit Jallah is a mile from Gilo; Palestinian Abu Tor is – literally – five feet from Jewish Abu Tor. It took the IDF months of military action which included destroying homes in Beit Jallah before the Palestinians desisted from their attacks. Given the terrain in AbuTor, or Beit Safafa and Pat, or Beit Yisrael and Bab el-Zahara – all on the Green Line – the only way to force angry Palestinians to desist from violence would be to conquer the Palestinian part of the city, in brutal house to house combat. Smack in the center of Jerusalem, one of the most sensitive spots on the globe.

There is every reason to expect that this Israeli gesture or that expression will infuriate some Palestinians someday. The leaders may sign a peace document, but the grievances won’t be forgotten, and the refusal to accept the Jews’ fundamental right to a state in their ancestral homeland is axiomatic for the Palestinians. They may grudgingly accept the fact of Israel’s existence, but they will continue to feel it was wrongly foisted upon them; the resulting animosity will not dissipate anytime soon.

[…] a battlefield in Jerusalem will incite and inflame one billion Muslims, as the slaughter of Sarajevo never did.

From Yaacov Lozowick’s post “Nine Logical Outcomes of Dividing Jerusalem.” He begins by saying that he would even disband Ariel … I’ll have to ask him about that.


[UPDATE: ] In an opinion piece in The Foward, Yaacov qualifies:

Within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, outlying Arab neighborhoods that don’t abut Jewish ones should be transferred to Palestine. Not the Holy Basin, however. Dividing the historic sections of Jerusalem is delusional. It will never bring peace, and it could lead to war.

He also points to the failure of divided Hebron as a comparison for a divided Jerusalem:

Here’s an experiment: Go to the website of the Geneva Accord and its detailed recommendation to divide Jerusalem. Follow the line, imagining it: What do the divided streets look like? Between which buildings will there be a border? What about where the line runs through single structures in the Old City? Ponder the possibility that the gamble fails, and the townspeople on either side of this hellish border decide not to live in peace. Then travel to Hebron, where such an experiment has already been tried and failed disastrously.

Not too long ago, Yaacov himself toured Hebron with a B’tselem guide. B’tselem tried to tell him that it was a model view of what it was like to live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank.

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