Jerusalem Your Reputation and History Raises Irrational Thinking
By Yoram Getzler Co-Host http://Israelseen.com
Jerusalem , it seems your name, reputation and history raise emotional and irrational sentimental thinking to the highest level.
At least that’s the impression when reading many statements by our political community as well as the commentary in the op-ed sections of our newspapers.
I seem to be missing any compelling rational argument based on coherent reasoning for maintaining our sovereignty in the eastern side of the city. Some times I get the feeling that the main motivation is to reject the possibility of any satisfaction by the Arab world in regard to the city. I think it is too serious an issue than to allow the expression of national or personal vindictiveness to be our guiding principle.
Few of the citizens of the west side, the Jewish side, visit there, effectively rendering that side as a separate, basically foreign part of our city, which is “united” in slogan only.
What possible advantage or benefit do our political leaders and commentators imagine will be served if these few square kilometers are added to the state of Israel? The idea is fundamentally disadvantages to us. At least for the Arab population there would be great advantages. They would continue to enjoy Israel’s advanced medical and social service care, employment possibilities and qualify for our institutions of higher education etc. For us the idea holds many disadvantages. For one we will gain an additional quarter of a million unhappy, uncooperative, hostile, militantly anti-Zionist Arab inhabitants. These new citizens will be added to the citizenship roles of our capitol city, and to the state of Israel itself.
The majority of this population that, many believe must be kept within the responsibility of the national and city administration, have not been provided the level of educational opportunities available to our Jewish citizens, however inadequate.
As it is, we know that there is a need to build more classrooms, and improve the schools in East Jerusalem. (about 40,000 East Jerusalem Arab children need 1000 new classrooms) We also know that the economic problems of the schools in West Jerusalem have hardly been resolved. From all that has been reported about East Jerusalem in the past years it seems to be an area more in need of economic assistance than an area of economic contribution.
Where will the budgets come from to upgrade East Jerusalem educational opportunities? Or does is the idea that the inhabitants of East Jerusalem remain a permanently undereducated, underdeveloped blight in our nations capitol?
Many also believe that the Israel Police have ignored enforcement of the law and have not maintained order on the Arab east side. The budgets to expand the police presence and enforcement will also need to come from, where? In place of budgets for what other priorities would she have us take the funds?
It also seems disingenuous when we take into account that most of the citizens who live in West Jerusalem, especially those who are most stridently committed to maintaining Jerusalem as a single united city, seem very uncomfortable if their citizen neighbors to the east felt themselves entitled to freely visit the western neighborhoods of the city they have been forced to be citizens of.
Of what possible benefit to the city or the nation can an additional quarter of a million anti-Zionist eligible voters be to either the city or to the state. Our splintered government can hardly govern the country as it is.
Other than having a larger city, with more inhabitants, and the satisfaction of our sentimental attachment to the past, it seems that the future enduring “unity” being proposed for Jerusalem are supported by no rational reasons for this commitment that include responsibility and sovereignty over all the artificially expanded city area. Most of which did not even exist in the biblical times so many are loyally attached to with cables of emotional sentimentally.
Maintaining our political and economic control over the large population of East Jerusalem Arabs, who insist on a separate national identity, loyalty and culture can not but weaken the over all health and strength of our country and its capitol.
I can not understand what so many influential people believe will be accomplished by continuing to include this large, divisive and hostile community of people within the limits of the city we love?