This morning’s One Jerusalem conference call was with Ambassador Dore Gold, former Sharon advisor and the current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He’s been at the forefront – along with Natan Sharansky and his folks at One Jerusalem – in trying to keep Jerusalem unified. His most specific book on the subject is The Fight for Jerusalem. Also on the call were: Jerry Gordon (IsraPundit), David Gerstman Soccer Dad), David Bogner (Treppenwitz), Rick Richman (Jewish Current Issues), and Anne Lieberman (Boker Tov, Boulder). OJ’s Allen Roth was moderating the call and as always the audio should be up on the One Jerusalem frontpage within a few hours.
Ambassador Gold’s message: “Only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all faiths”. This is so demonstrably obvious that, honestly, we can’t understand how it’s even a debate. When Israel’s Arab enemies took East Jerusalem in 1949, they quite literally ethnically cleansed the Old City of Jews. For decades, they denied all Jews all access to all Jewish holy sites – and while people watched from across the border, they very publicly desecrated Jewish cemeteries and relics. This was not an aberration: it was anti-Semitic venting that would be repeated every time Israel’s Arab enemies took over Jewish holy sites from Israel. More recently Palestinians murdered Israelis in the process of taking over Joseph’s Tomb, desecrating it, and painting it green to mark it as an exclusively Islamic holy site. The desecration of Jewish artifacts in Hebron, following what happened to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, is ongoing. And of course, the Rosetta Stone to how limited Palestinian sovereignty over holy places becomes diplomatically and internationally protected all-out destruction of Jewish holy sites, the Wakf’s destruction of the Temple Mount
According to the ambassador, “the Israeli government got itself into this process through the back door” after Israel’s foreign policy establishment tried to work out basic principles for a future deal. Then the classic anti-Israel diplomatic bait and switch kicked in: Israeli officials suggested a willingness to discuss limited concessions in the context of a shelf deal to be implemented later, and suddenly there were full blown peace talks. No matter how provisional they are, conditional suggestions somehow consistently end up as anti-Israel starting points. Under the Road Map Israel said “we’ll embrace a Palestinian state as long as the Palestinians meet their obligations.” The Palestinians – following Hezbollah’s example in the context of Israel’s UN-certified withdrawal from Lebanon – merely refused to meet their obligations while fantastically insisting that Israel hadn’t made the necessary security and territorial concessions.
Worse, just hearing out positions lay the groundwork for future State Department and international pressure: “but you already agreed to this” — “but you promised that was just in theory” — “well we’re past that now”. And so the new round of negotiations is being done on the basis of the preliminary Clinton negotiating positions – the ones that Barak agreed to hear out as the maximum Palestinian demands that they would presumably negotiate on. Israel had been promised again and again that they should listen to all options – at least the beginning of negotiations – because they wouldn’t be punished for merely hearing out the maximum Palestinian positions. Screwed again.
After the jump, how diplomatic pressure, Palestinian intransigence, and breathtakingly unreliable international assurances may end up with Jews and Christians being denied access to their holy places in Jerusalem – to say nothing of the slow military and cultural suffocation of all of Israel.
The Palestinians know how to use the slippery slope of “Israel already agreed to this in principle.” They’re explicitly demanding that all Jews be expelled from all land in any Palestinian state – or, as major media outlets are wont to call it, removing settlements. This will provide the basis – later – for demanding that Jews be expelled from any areas under Palestinian control. Christians are already being systematically cleansed from Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip and the the West Bank.
Under these circumstances – and knowing that any suggestions of Israeli concessions become de facto commitments during future controversies – we’re skeptical about any Palestinian assurances that they’ll ensure religious freedom in East Jerusalem. Oh, but there’ll be an international force there. We’re sure that the State Department and the international community will step up to fulfill their guarantees to Israel just like they always do. State Department brokered Israeli concessions where international observers are supposed to protect Israeli interests? Yeah, definitely sign us up for that.
But at least Egypt is meeting their obligations and promises not to let Hamas operatives leave Gaza, get training in Iran, and come back.
But at least it’s only the southern front, since UNIFIL has lived up to the UN’s post-Lebanon II promises and blocked rocket and mortar attacks from Lebanon.
If the Palestinians are allowed even limited sovereignty over East Jerusalem, the only thing more certain than Christians and Jews being excluded is the international community not living up to agreements to protect them. That’s before we even begin discussing the security threats that Israel will face with its capital and its major international airport in the path of Arab rocket and mortar fire. And the best part: Israel can’t even discuss a reasonable proposal, because the Palestinians’ maximum demands – two decades into a pattern of pocketing concessions and demanding more before they consider their obligations – consistently become new starting positions.
* The Fight for Jerusalem by Dore Gold [Amazon]
* Compare and Contrast [MR]
* Palestinians Still Desecrating Holy Jewish Objects In Hebron. International Media Still Doesn’t Care. [MR]
* OneJerusalem.org Conference Call: Rep. Eric Cantor (R, VA-7) On HR 756, Condemning the Wakf’s Destruction Of The Temple-Mount [MR]
* Annapolis As A Rosetta Stone For How Anti-Israel Bait And Switch Diplomacy Works [MR]
* The UN Makes It Official: There Is Absolutely No Agreement That Won’t Be Changed If Israel’s Genocidal Enemies Refuse To Accept For Long Enough [MR]
* Gaza Internet Cafes and Christian Bookstore Bombed – No One Knows Who Did It! [MR]
* Video: Palestinian Christians Being Attacked, Firebombed Out Of The West Bank (Bonus: Sharia Law In the Palestinian Constitution) [MR]
* State Department: How About An Unbiased, Totally Objective International Force In The West Bank? [MR]
* EU Again Backs Out of Monitoring Agreement, Endangers Israeli Security [MR]
* Egypt Opens Border Crossing, Allows Hamas To Smuggle In Money [MR]
* Unknown Group With Freedom Of Movement In South Lebanon And A Katyusha Stockpile Bombs Israel. No Retaliation Planned. [MR]
* OneJerusalem.org Conference Call: Rep. Eric Cantor (R, VA-7) On HR 756, Condemning the Wakf’s Destruction Of The Temple-Mount
* One Jerusalem Conference Call: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
* One Jerusalem Conference Call – Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay