Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Barkat: 'Just Say No' to Splitting Jerusalem


Barkat a retired businessman and now Mayor of Jerusalem spoke on Monday in Atlanta at the annual Jewish National Fund conference saying no to splitting Jerusalem. For the last decade the Palestinians have tried to take Jerusalem back. Recently Palestinian Authority has demanded that Israel hand over all parts of the city that were under Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.  They want this land to become the capital of a new Arab State. The city has been unified for decades, since annexed after the Six Day War of 1967.
The Mayor is adamant that Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. In august Barkat released an outline of his vision for Jerusalem's future, stating "The vision I have for the city is to return Jerusalem to the role it played two and three thousand years ago as a world center - a destination for pilgrims and believers throughout the world." Barkat strives to develop Jerusalem to a great leave of tourism that he feels will help create jobs and help Jerusalem to get out of the poverty its suffers today. The separation of the city would only create hostility in a place that Jew’s and Arabs live relatively well together.
He is clear in his speech, Monday that they must simply say “NO” to the Arab request and move on. He believes that the division of Jerusalem would never work. Khaled Abu Toameh a Muslim Arab journalist also shares Mayor Barkat’s view on not splitting Jerusalem. He wrote a piece himself on the issue in which he talks about how many Arabs in Jerusalem prefer Israeli rule rather than Palestinian Rule. Toameh points out that Arabs are in titled to many of the Israeli benefits that perhaps would not be in the case of Palestinian rule. He further states that the division of the city of Jerusalem would be a “ nightmare of traffic snarls surrounded by security barriers, check points and border crossings.” More importantly Toameh in his article asks that the 200,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem be asked what they want.
The author of the article is Maayana Miskin who is a journalist for the Israel National News and is a part of other news blogs. She has written and published many articles generally focusing on the Israel and Palestinian events. The article is straightforward and she leaves her personal view to herself, I found no content that she is pro or against the splitting of Israel. She also provides links to both the Mayors vision for Jerusalem’s article as well as Journalist Toameh piece on the issue as well. I used both the articles is my review of her article and found them helpful in getting more information in regards to the issue.


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