The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018. The first words from his mouth were “Jerusalem is not for sale.” If only he understood the real truth in those words – Israel is not going to sell Jerusalem.
But, alas, Abbas thinks that the Palestinian Authority is the owner of Jerusalem, the PA controls it and will not compromise on its status.
Even more, Abbas ruled out any peace agreement without Jerusalem. At 18:04 of his speech, Abbas said “Peace in our region cannot be realized without an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, with all its holy sites…. East Jerusalem, which has been occupied since 1967 is our capital. There is no peace otherwise.”
Abbas has long refused to acknowledge many truths. He imagines that Israel is a racist state which practices apartheid, even while it is the most open and liberal society for thousands of miles in any direction. Abbas pretends that he does not support terrorism, even while he sends terrorists’ families money and names schools and government properties after murderers.
Those lies lead Abbas to despise Israel and foment more violence and bloodshed. But, at least theoretically, he could advance peace and coexistence with such vile beliefs. However, his lies about Jerusalem are particularly harmful to the region, as he ties his fantasy to the ability to move forward to live in peace with Israel.
Jerusalem was never the capital of a Palestinian state nor intended to be a capital of an Arab state in any peace formulation. Ever.
When the United Nations voted on a partition plan for a Jewish State of Israel and Arab State of Palestine in 1947, it clearly marked a corpus separatum, a distinct international entity to hold Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem.
The Arab countries rejected the UN proposal and by May 1948 launched an attack on the new State of Israel. At war’s end, Jordan illegally seized control of three-quarters of the corpus separatum including all of Greater Bethlehem and the eastern half of Jerusalem, in a move that the world did not recognize. Israel took control of the western half of Greater Jerusalem and made it its capital. Jordan expelled all of the Jews from the area it seized and granted all non-Jews Jordanian citizenship in an outrageous antisemitic act in 1954.
The Jordanians gave Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians in the newly named “West Bank” and “East Jerusalem.” They would make no attempt to give them independence or sovereignty throughout their period of illegal control until 1967.
In 1967, Jordan (and the Palestinians who had Jordanian citizenship) attacked Israel again and subsequently lost all of the “West Bank” and Greater Bethlehem and eastern Jerusalem. Israel took control of the area, and expanded the borders of Jerusalem in 1980, declaring “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”
As a sign of good faith during the Oslo Accords, Israel handed the Palestinian Authority a core part of corpus separatum, Bethlehem. With Israel, the PA and its peace sponsors all supporting the move, the concept of corpus separatum ended.
Abbas remains undeterred by facts. Before 1948 Jerusalem was to be an international city; from 1949 to 1967 the Jordanians controlled the city and made no efforts to give it to Palestinians; and from 1967 the entirety of the city has been the capital of Israel.
While Israel has permitted the Jordanian Waqf to have administrative responsibilities for Muslim holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem (and no King Abdullah, Jordan has NO responsibility for Christian sites), the ownership, control and sovereignty of the city is Israel’s.
Jerusalem has never been a Palestinian capital, was never intended to be a Palestinian capital and is not a Palestinian city to even contemplate in a “sale.”
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