Geneva Initiative Annexes
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GI Israel Position Paper: Divide (the Debate on) Jerusalem

GI Israel Position Paper: Divide (the Debate on) Jerusalem
Date: 18.02.08

Following the emergence of the issue of negotiations on Jerusalem onto public agenda, Geneva Initiative-Israel suggests the following:

  1. Negotiations on Jerusalem should be divided into two sub-issues: a. borders. b. the Old City and the holy places.
  2. While the fate of the Old City and the holy place is ideologically and politically controversial, the disagreements surrounding the fate of the Arabic neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are not fundamental.
  3. Continued Israeli control over places such as Shuafat, Beit Hanina and Kafr Aqab hurts Israel. The Israeli interest is to transfer such places to the Palestinian Authority, and the Israeli public seems to understand this desire is common to both Israelis and Palestinians.
  4. As Prime Minister Olmert was quoted as saying last week, "the issue of borders can easily be resolved." Therefore, tackling Jerusalem and it borders under the umbrella of the issue of "borders" would significantly simplify negotiations over the other two core issues.
  5. Progress must be achieved on all issues simultaneously, as until there are agreements on all of them, the agreements on each issue will not be accepted. Nonetheless, it is clear that after agreements are reached on the issue of borders—and within it Jerusalem—solutions on the Old City and the holy places will be easier to come by, as will a solution for the refugee problem.