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Israel came to control Jerusalem in stages: first, in the 1948 war when it took the western side, mostly the then-fashionable residential district (Upper and Lower Bag'a, Katamon, Talbieh, Mamilla and Shama'a, parts of Abu Tor, of Musrara and of Rehavia); the surrounding environs to the west, southwest and northwest (Ufta, Oeir Yassin, Ein Karem, EI-Malha) and the heart of the then-modern commercial center. Later, in 1967, it cap¬tured the Old City and its surrounding environs to the north, east and south.
Israel's development of Jerusalem, East and West, did not however begin in real earnest until after 1967. As we also know, Israel's intensive post-1967 development program involved housing and associated infrastructure in a now unilaterally annexed and expanded territory across the Green Line, designed to: (a) create an essentially unified metropolitan complex spread indiscriminately across what were once borderlines, no-man's land, village and town district lines, as well as territory confiscated for this purpose (about 22,000 dunums); and (b) ensure that this web of infrastructure extensions would to all intents and purposes encircle and disintegrate the territorial and demographic spread of the eastern, once-entirely Arab populated part. The aim was to render this into a disaggregated or scattered collection of habitats or areas, wholly abandoned by the construction improvement program.
We also all know that while this feverish Jewish construction activity was underway, a similarly feverish policy was applied to deny building permits for the Arab population, which had doubled in size over the 27¬year period since 1967. On average, the total sum of housing unit permits made available to the Arab residents of Jerusalem over the entire 27-year period (not much exceeding 7,500), equals the annual rate of such permits made available for Jewish construction. Even so, the major part of the per¬mits given to Arab residents came against the background, and in the con¬text, of the forced evacuation of Arab inhabitants from the Jewish or Moghrabi quarter of the Old City.
In population terms, the demographic landscape was transformed, placing over 150,000 Jewish inhabitants across the Green Line, and making the east¬ern part of the city almost equally divided between its Arab and Jewish resi¬dents. As an aside, it should be noted that, together with this figure which many observers seem to gloss over, Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories presently number well over a quarter of a million inhabitants.
It may seem strange, against the background of this political and human affront, that a Palestinian Jerusalemite whose sensitivities have become so over-politicized, and whose national existence in the city seems threatened, should nonetheless still regard the saddest part of this overall development onslaught to be the ravishing of the hills, valleys and countryside of the city. Religious design may still posit Jerusalem as the terrestrial gateway to the divine world, as evidenced, in Islam for example, through the story of ascension - a tradition whose significance seems universally unappreciat¬ed. But looking today on Jerusalem's cement and mortar landscape, as indeed on its human landscape, it is hard not to feel saddened by the dis¬appearance of that unique fusion of sunlight and earth texture in which the entire pastoral surroundings basked.
I hope the day will come, after a political settlement has been finalized, when minds will turn to preserving the spiritual distinctness of Jerusalem and its environs. But my mission here is less to mourn the past or the pre¬sent as it is to provide a few sketches of a possible future.

The Guiding Principle

Briefly, my personal approach to the Jerusalem problem, as to the Palestinian problem more generally, is guided by a principle which Palestinians do not in general savor, namely, the de facto existence of Israel on the map; and another principle which the Israelis do not in general savor, namely, that "the goods" must be equitably shared between Israelis and Palestinians. Without either of these two principles as an ingredient in the coexistence formula to be designed, I fear that residents of the city ¬as indeed of the country - will most likely discover that theirs is the gate¬way to hell rather than to celestial bliss. But also, without these two ingredients in any possible compromise formula, I feel it wouldn't be necessary to ask anyone to speculate about peace in the first place - one side or the other can simply bring about what they desire by force if they can. Neither princi¬ples of reason, nor principles of morality need be brought to bear. It becomes obvious that Palestinians and Israelis must find a formula in which they can equitably share the goods.
In the country at large, as also in Jerusalem the metropolis, two distinct approaches may be considered. Rights may either be divided distributively among individuals, or they may be spliced between collective entities or groups. If one looks at the country as a whole, the distributive approach would imply that each Palestinian and each Israeli would have equal politi¬cal rights. These would include the right to individual security in one's home, the right to be repatriated to one's home if one is deprived of the first right, and the right to be a full citizen - meaning, to be a participant to the consti¬tutional extent possible in the determination of one's future, and to be equal in that respect with all citizens. The application of a distributive system like this would obviously mean the establishment of a democratic, binational and multireligious polity, after adjustments are introduced to compensate for rights - especially repatriation - that cannot be literally applied.
On the same equitable scale, but approached from the opposite end, that of separating or splicing rather than of integrating and sharing, rights can be divided between the collective entities or groups to which individuals belong, thus between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, and thus in the form of two separate states.
The same principle of sovereign parity can be applied to the Jerusalem metropolis, again with the same choice between two approaches. Either the right to sovereignty is divided distributively among the Jerusalemites, regardless of citizenship or present residence status, or it is divided through separation and splicing between the two polities, Israel and Palestine.

Two Theoretical Models

However, it might be argued, given the needs and sensitivities associated with Jerusalem, that a "perfect" model would be one which is to all intents and purposes a mixed version of the two. In this third model, a basic sov¬ereign line may be kept which is porous (or permeable) and invisible enough on the one hand to allow for a maximization of sharing; but which is substantive enough on the other hand to allow for the required degree of separation. It may be continuous enough to maintain an adherence to the historic Green Line; discreet or disjunctive enough to allow for the existence of disjointed or scattered sites of sovereignty. In this way, parity of sover¬eign rights can be maintained as a basic principle, but the correct mixture of dividing and sharing, separating and integrating, will optimize the benefits accruing to the two communities from the implementation of these rights.
It should be noted, in all events, that the nature of such a line will be a function of the nature of the overall borderline between Israel and Palestine, and conversely, for as long as two separate polities continue to exist. Totally porous state-lines, on the other hand, will render any special features in the Jerusalem line redundant.

Forms of Cooperation

Translated into practical terms, Palestinian sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem, or Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem, can still be made to be consistent with a continuingly undivided city, and with an extended and joint municipal government (or joint function of two separate munici¬pal governments) which would operate those sectors. The reference is to items like sewerage, fire-fighting, street lighting, tourist aid and facilities, forestation or public health. Their enjoyment and benefit by the citizen is non-exclusive - indeed, benefit for one citizen is a function of the benefit and enjoyment for others. Cultural, political and religious-sensitive mat¬ters can be operated by two separate municipal governments. Various forms of cooperation can be envisaged, as well as various possibilities of representation and sharing. The city can be the seat of two capitals and sys¬tems of government, but it can have its own single court of law supervised by a judiciary body whose members are seconded respectively by the two states, and whose legal framework, adapted appropriately from the two respective legal systems, is adjusted to address the unique status and deal¬ings of the city's Israeli and Palestinian residents.
Also, speaking in practical terms such a formula would address and rebalance some of the otherwise jarring anomalies, such as the presence of a Jewish cemetery lying within Palestinian jurisdiction on the eastern side and a Muslim cemetery lying within Israeli jurisdiction on the western side; or of divided Abu Tor or Sur Bahir; or of a jutting enclave deemed religiously essential to one side or the other. Indeed, it is not logically, physically, or politically impossible to design a formula that would address "minimalist reasonable requirements" on both sides, and any such formula, being an advanced form of this unique mixture of separation and integration, may well serve as an attractive model for the overall relation¬ship between the two states. In any case, it would have to be remembered that the outlying metropolitan borderline endowing the city with a special status will become enhanced to the extent the separating line is made invis¬ible and economically insignificant, while at the same time maintaining a fairly visible and economically significant line between the two states.

The Demographic Problem

A major problem which will have to be confronted in this effort is demog¬raphy; and in particular, the Jewish settlers who have come to reside across the Green Line and within the environs of Jerusalem. I would like here to assert that I do not personally feel comfortable with the notion of legitimizing Israel's de facto transformation of the demographic status quo of the eastern part of the city. Thus neither option - of incorporating such inhabitants into Palestinian sovereign territory, or of annexing such quarters to Israeli sovereign territory - seems to me to be readily palatable.
Yet, I have already alluded to the possibility of at least some adjust¬ments in borderlines, and it goes without saying that the porosity of the border, allowing for the free movement of capital, goods and personnel, will in any case make it possible for residents, whatever their nationality, and wherever they reside, to move freely. The basic ingredients for a com¬promise on this issue, therefore, are obvious. However, it would have to be addressed in the same spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit that all other issues also have to be addressed. I am certain that future negotiators will not be in want of possible suggestions in this area.
Be that as it may - and it may be a long while before the two sides final¬ly settle on the most suitable level of mixture and separation - the other aspect to be addressed by both sides will have to be Jerusalem's universal character. This can be maintained through declaring the city a violence-free and demilitarized zone, a sanctified area that provides free access to all pil¬grims and visitors at all times. This means a city where properties and wor¬shippers belonging to foreign churches enjoy total religious immunity, where the rich mosaic of different religious quarters is enhanced and sup¬ported, and where the international community can through the United Nations continue to have a unified symbolic presence and representation, possibly still on Jabal al-Mukabber, an indication of the solicitude with which peace in the city is to be guarded.
A distinguished international figure might be appointed an honorary role as U.N. representative, with perhaps a special Jerusalem title reflecting the recognition by the people of Jerusalem of their city's international character. Beyond that, however, it is difficult to see the value now of an internation¬alization program of the kind envisaged in the 1947 U.N. partition plan.

The Human Front

My final comment has to do with the immense compensating effort which has to be undertaken by all concerned, once a settlement is agreed upon, in order to bring the infrastructure of Palestinian Jerusalem up to the standard enjoyed by Israeli Jerusalem. This will involve a massive program of renovations in the Old City, in the various neighboring Palestinian quarters, as well as residen¬tial construction and development of the commercial centers, all informed by environmentally-conscious plans. There is a great need to create symmetry between the various neighborhoods to facilitate human harmony in the city. In financial terms, the reconstruction effort cannot be immense by any inter¬national standard. But its human and political value will be immeasurable.
Still on the human front, the time must also come and the effort under¬taken to establish a multireligious higher institute for the study of the region's civilizations, where scholars from different national and religious backgrounds can not only work jointly on the pluralistic history of Palestine and its civilizations, its peoples and its archaeology; but where a true effort can also be undertaken by these same scholars to engage in an appreciation of the Abrahamic religion, the source of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Jerusalem's future peace can only be guaranteed if, additional to any political or geographical settlement which is worked out, a serious effort is made in the sphere of historical and religious reconstruction. The fact that the three contending religions derive their roots from the same divine mes¬sage is one which can either help aggravate an already unhealthy state of dissonance and friction, or be a source of convergence and harmony.
Given the unique way in which Jerusalem is regarded by followers of these religions, both in terms of its role in the past as well as in terms of its status in the future, it is particularly incumbent on the contending parties to pursue a course of convergence and harmonization. This will require a major reappraisal of existing perceptions, and perhaps it calls for a joint reconstruction of the significance of sites and events. After all, it is too iron¬ic and sad that the message of a universal truth propagated by a common father should stand in the way of consonance and convergence among those who profess to be his descendants and followers.
I have, in the final analysis, only presented my personal ruminations on the subject. I hold onto them for two complementary reasons: (a) I believe that without them a Jerusalem settlement is not possible; and (b) I believe that without a Jerusalem settlement a lasting peace in the area is not possi¬ble. With them, both a settlement and peace can be made possible.

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