With Jerusalem’s Arabs at a Crossroads, Partitioning the City Would Court Disaster

The Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem are a web of contradictions: while most are not Israeli citizens, they enjoy a status distinct from that of other Palestinians—allowing them freedom of movement, the right to vote in municipal elections, and access to the national health-insurance system, as well as an easy to path to Israeli citizenship should they so desire. While they make up, overall, one of the poorest demographic groups in Israel, members of the younger generation are increasingly obtaining educations and jobs that will lead to greater prosperity. And while Islamist groups are rapidly gaining influence and popularity in their neighborhoods, Arab Jerusalemites are more inclined than ever to learn Hebrew, to study for the exams that can get them into Israeli universities, and even to seek Israeli citizenship.

In a detailed report, David Koren and Ben Avrahami explain the history and status of these Arabs, their internal diversity, and the disintegration of their traditional structures of communal authority. The last phenomenon has led to the greater popularity of Hamas and the even more radical Hizb ut-Tahrir group, and abetted the growing influence of pro-Islamist Turkey and Qatar. Although first published in Hebrew in May, the report—recently made available in English—sheds much light on the ongoing disturbances on and around the Temple Mount. Arguing trenchantly against proposals by some Israeli politicians to partition the city, the authors instead offer alternatives:

[I]n any form of partition of the city, Israel must be concerned not only about the terrorist infrastructure that would emerge only a few meters from Jewish neighborhoods but also about the currents that would dominate the educational, cultural, and welfare systems of the Palestinian political entity established. Children would be brought up with a deeply rooted hatred of Israelis, glorification of the violent struggle against it, and rejection of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. . . .

[Instead], we believe that Israel should take steps to infuse additional and more significant [efforts and resources into policies that] unite the city, by means of actions that increase the eastern Jerusalem Arabs’ sense of belonging to the city and the state.

On the basis of the hundreds of conversations we have had . . . with dozens of prominent figures, both women and men, we believe that broad sectors of the Palestinian population have come around to a pragmatic attitude about the Israeli authorities, despite their Palestinian national identity, and see Israel not only as the culprit to be blamed for their difficult situation as individuals and as a community but also as the only possible source for solving their problems and turning their lives around. . . .

During the recent spate of [stabbings, car-rammings, and so forth], teachers and principals went out into the streets to get their pupils to curb their emotions and avoid attacking innocent persons, both Arabs and Jews. In another decade, perhaps these teachers will be joined by merchants, businesspeople, community activists, and cultural figures who endeavor to introduce mutual respect and sensitivity to the turbulent reality of Jerusalem.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Hashiloach

More about: East Jerusalem, Islamism, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy