Argument: Jerusalem was intended by the UN to be a joint capital

Issue Report: Dividing Jerusalem


Dr. Hazem Nusseibeh. “Jerusalem: Capital of Palestine”. Jerusalemites – Jerusalem, under the mandate assigned to Britain by the League of Nations, the precursor of the United Nations, was first and foremost a sacred trust, along with the rest of Palestine, to be administered for an interim short period until such time as the Palestinian people could stand on their feet unaided, and establish their independent sovereign state. A far cry from the indescribably catastrophic turn of events which brought about the dispersal of its legitimate Arab citizen and much of the rest of the people of Palestine.

Rami Nasrallah. “Wither the Palestinian Capital?” Palestine Center Information Brief. 20 Nov. 2007 – Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem until today, the demographic balance served as the main consideration in Israeli decision making on both the government and the local municipal level. The Israeli policies were limited and directed to mainly serve spatial/demographic domination of “Jewish Jerusalem.” No minimal effort was invested to “integrate” the Palestinian neighborhoods’ functions with West Jerusalem or the settlements built in Palestinian areas. On the contrary, the policy was to separate and isolate them. Until the Oslo agreement in September 1993, the Israeli government “allowed” certain autonomy of Palestinian Jerusalemites especially in educational, sport, health, cultural, religious institutions and community based organizations. East Jerusalem continued to serve as a metropolitan center of the entire West Bank, and this enhanced the “autonomy” of Jerusalemites and created an alternative separate system. From “United Jerusalem” to “Jewish Jerusalem” Until the Camp David negotiations in 2000, Israeli government policies revolved around the “unity of Jerusalem.” Then demographic considerations, or the Palestinian demographic threat, became the reason for “getting rid” of Palestinian Jerusalemites after Israel had accomplished its spacio-political goals for a “Jewish Jerusalem.” Israel of today is in the process of replacing the slogan of “United Jerusalem” with great “Jewish Jerusalem” with the Old City as its core. As a result of the Israeli policy, Palestinian neighborhoods (including the available land for future development) consist of only 17 percent of the entire East Jerusalem area and 7 percent of total municipal Jerusalem. Israel restricted the Palestinian construction and economic development, which led to the emigration of the Palestinians from the city to new areas developed as suburbs of the city. This territorial/demographic domination and restriction on Palestinian development affected East Jerusalem by deteriorating its functionality in disconnecting it from its hinterland and West Bank areas.