An Israeli government official acknowledged Saturday that the crucial issue of the future status of Jerusalem was unlikely to be resolved in negotiations with Palestinians this year, reflecting the abiding gaps between the sides.
The official, Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said...he did not think Jerusalem’s future could be revolved so quickly. “We will outline a methodology for an agreed framework on how to deal with Jerusalem in the future,” he said.
He spoke after the chief Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qurei, said the two sides had agreed recently to start drafting a paper defining their respective positions on the various topics under discussion.
But Mr. Qurei, responding to Mr. Regev’s remarks, made it clear in a telephone interview on Saturday that a mere framework would be unacceptable. “If there is no Jerusalem, there will be no agreement,” he said.
To understand this Arab view, check out, for example, this drivel. And to understand theur chutzpah, reflect on this:
In November of 1948, a truce came into force throughout the city, and at the beginning of 1949 an armistice agreement was concluded between Israel and Jordan. Among other matters, it was agreed that a special committee would be established in order to formulate agreed plans inter alia on matters on which agreement in principle already existed, including free access to the Holy Places and the reopening of the cultural and humanitarian institutions on Mount Scopus (Article 8), but these commitments were not honoured by Jordan. Furthermore, the Jordanians demolished most of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City with its synagogues, and also destroyed a number of gravestones in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
...In 1950 a conference of dignitaries from the areas conquered by Jordan in 1948 was convened in Jericho, and following their resolution the King of Jordan proclaimed the annexation of the West Bank and Jerusalem to his kingdom. This act was recognized by only two states -- Great Britain and Pakistan, and Great Britain added a reservation that the recognition did not apply to Jerusalem. The members of the Arab League expressed their opposition to these measures.
And let's recall the Partition Resolution the Arabs so much want to revive where it is written:
Chapter 1. Holy Places, Religious Buildings and Sites
1. Existing rights in respect of Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall not be denied or impaired.
2. In so far as Holy Places are concerned, the liberty of access, visit and transit shall be guaranteed, in conformity with existing rights, to all residents and citizens of the other State and of the City of Jerusalem, as well as to aliens, without distinction as to nationality, subject to requirements of national security, public order and decorum. Similarly, freedom of worship shall be guaranteed in conformity with existing rights, subject to the maintenance of public order and decorum.
3. Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall be preserved. No act shall be permitted which may in any way impair their sacred character. If at any time it appears to the Government that any particular Holy Place, religious building or site is in need of urgent repair, the Government may call upon the community or communities concerned to carry out such repair. The Government may carry it out itself at the expense of the community or communities concerned if no action is taken within a reasonable time.
Did they behave according to that decision?
So where do they come off demadning Jerusalem? Their behavior doesn't get them Jerusalem now when they didn't want the Jews to have it then.
Read how AP Diplomatic Writer Anne Gearan mauls it:
Jerusalem's modern history is tortured: The United Nations proposed international jurisdiction for Jerusalem when it wrote the mandate for a Jewish state in 1947, but the plan fell apart the next year when the 1948 war divided the city between Israeli and Jordanian control. Israel captured the Old City in the 1967 war, reuniting the city under its disputed jurisdiction.
It fell apart? Just like that?
The 1948 war divided the city or the Arabs, who launched a war of aggression, against a UN decision, divided the city and refused for 19 years to unite it?
Israel claims all the city as its capital, and maintains the seat of government there. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.