Yoav Sorek - Dec 10, 2009
The Israeli Initiative
These words are written to you, UCI readers and supporters, from Jerusalem, the holiest of cities. Not just anywhere in Jerusalem, but from its eastern part, where the Israeli Initiative's headquarters are located.
If you were to look out of our windows, you would see well-dressed Arab teenagers going home from school, European-raised Christian nuns walking to their convents and churches, and Orthodox Jews hurrying to buy oil and candles for Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which begins this Friday night.
The Old City is full of tourists and merchants, the new Mamilla mall is connecting the heart of modern Jerusalem to the ancient Jaffa gate, and new rails for the planned Jerusalem light rail are being laid along the ottoman walls. The holy sites are open, archeological digs are held, their findings preserved and studied, while new and modern projects are built with a view of the old city.
This is the way Jerusalem lives under Israeli sovereignty. It is one city, not two, and this is how it had been throughout history. It was a city that Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in for generations, but it was the capital of only one nation; only for one religion is this city the place that they pray towards for generations and generations.
Yes, the city was divided, but only during the short-lived Jordanian occupation. Those 19 years are remembered as those in which the ancient Jewish quarter was demolished, its synagogues desecrated, and the free access to holy sites, which was promised to Jews, was never upheld. That was not the Jerusalem you think of today. That was not the city that the world cherishes.
The European Union has announced that it wishes to see Jerusalem as the future capital of the future Palestinian state. Why? The idea of a Palestinian state, of a Palestinian nationality, is a new idea, invented in the 1960s. Jerusalem is ancient; 3000 years ago, it became the capital of biblical Israel with David as its king.
We at the Israeli initiative know that the idea of Palestinian nationality is the root of all the misery in this region. The Palestinian national narrative is the key to an everlasting struggle, bringing violence to the Middle East.
If we will put this narrative aside and solve the humanitarian problem of the Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem can continue to flourish, bringing light to the nations of the world. These lights will come - as in the days of the Hasmoneans - from the heart of the ancient and holy city, from the Jewish temple mount.
The Israeli Initiative
P.S. These last few weeks the focus of American politics has been on the health care bill being debated in the Senate. The question that comes to mind today is that in a time like this, when our financial situation in the US is so uncertain, should the American taxpayer really be sending millions upon millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority and to UNRWA. Moreover, should our government be supporting entities that openly admit that HAMAS members are on their payroll (UNRWA)?
If you don't like what is happening in Washington in relation to Israel, you can make your voice heard. Go to www.israelunitycoalition.org
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