Now this Pole comes to Jerusalem. A
symbolic gesture with far-reaching aspects: when he will trace the footsteps
of Jesus in the Via Dolorosa, the efforts of little Israeli politicians to
turn Jerusalem into a Jewish ghetto will seem ludicrous. Billions of
Christians and Muslims around the world will see and be reminded that
Jerusalem is their holy city too.
The Pope will also try to strike a
balance between the two peoples of this country. He recognizes the
Palestinian presence as he recognizes the Israeli one. So here we have it:
One city, two nations (Israeli and Palestinian), two peoples (Jewish and
Arab), three religions. No solution that does not take these facts into
account will stand any chance of success.
On this historical background, the
present events look like an absurd piece written by a mad playwright. He
invents new gimmicks as he goes along, and each one is crazier than the one
before. For example, the latest semantic invention: the "Jerusalem
envelope". (Ma'atefet Yerushalayim" in Hebrew.)
A little town called Anata was to be
turned over to the Palestinian self-government. Olmert and assorted settlers
shouted to high heaven. Barak gave up, as usual. The argument: Anata is
close to the Pisgat-Ze'ev settlement, which defends Jerusalem.
To understand how absurd this is, one
has to remember recent history. Holy Jerusalem, the town sacred to Jews and
others, is only the Old City within the walls and the close surroundings. A
small town, indeed. Some 150 years ago, when space became too constricted,
the population started to move out of the walls and create new
neighborhoods, such as (Jewish) Rehavia in the West and (Arab) Sheikh Jerakh
in the East. Neither of them is holier than the suburbs of Tel-Aviv and
When the Israeli army conquered the Old
City, the Israeli government grabbed the opportunity. Pretending to "unify
the city", it annexed not only Arab East Jerusalem, but also wide spaces to
the north, east and west. The borders were drawn up with much deliberation:
uninhabited spaces were put in, many areas inhabited by Arabs were left out.
One could call it "statistic annexation" - put in as many Jews as possible,
leave out as many Arabs as possible.
From the geographical point of view,
there is no logic in this map. Abu-Dis and Ezaryia, close to the Temple
Mount, were left outside. Far-off Calandia was put in. No Hebrew prophet has
ever preached in Calandia, but a small airport is located there. So it is
United-Jerusalem-the-Eternal-Capital-of-Israel (for short: UJTECOI) is not
sacred to Jews or anyone else. Only a tiny part of it is actually holy to
anybody. But our pour brain has been washed with those phoney messages: Holy
Calandia, holy Har Homa, holy Ramot.
The story does not end there. The
swollen holy city, UJTECOI, has to be defended. The Palestinian authority
must not be allowed to come close to it under any circumstances, so as not
to endanger its security. Therefore, all the Arab neighborhoods which were
not included in the municipal borders at annexing time, so as not to have
too many Arabs in town, must not be turned over to Palestinian rule. Not
Abu-Dis, not Ezariya, not a-Ram, not Beith-Hanina, not Bir-Naballa.
But even this is not enough. In order
to defend the above-mentioned Capital of Israel, a security zone had to be
established around it: settlements like Pisgat-Ze'ev and Giv'at-Ze'ev,
Ma'aleh-Adumim and New-Giv'ona. Now the idea of the "envelope" has been
created: no area close to these settlements must be turned over to the
Palestinians. Because these settlements defend Jerusalem, they must be
defended in turn. The logical continuation: set up new settlements to defend
the old ones, prevent the areas close to them to be given to the
Palestinians, and so on and so forth. Eventually, Jerusalem's security zone
will reach Beirut, Baghdad and Cairo.
But try to explain that to a Goy, like
the Settlement Special]