zondag 6 december 2009

Europese Unie wil eigenmachtig Jerusalem verdelen.

Het toch serieuze plan van de EU om Jerusalem op eigen houtje te gaan verdelen verdient meer aandacht.
Is Europa zo gefrustreerd dat het geen rol van betekenis speelt in het Israelisch-Palestijnse conflict dat het nu maar eens een daad gaat stellen?
Een ding staat vast: de bemiddelaarspositie van Europa is op die manier meteen verdwenen.
Israel zal Europa nooit meer vertrouwen of serieus nemen.
Er zijn aan dit besluit zowel politieke als religieuze zaken verbonden.
Dit houdt onder andere in dat er rekening dient te worden gehouden met de opvattingen van BEIDE kanten en niet alleen van de Palestijnen.
Bijvoorbeeld de religieuze belangen: wordt Oost-Jerusalem wederom afgesloten voor Joden? Is er geen precedent dat religieuze vrijheid voor niet-moslims niet erg hoog scoort bij de Palestijnse Autoriteit?
Helaas hebben we moeten vaststellen dat niet-moslim heiligdommen nogal eens vernield werden in de PA.
In Jerusalem, de oude stad, die dan nu naar de PA moet gaan, werden alle synagogen na 1948 vernield en afgebroken. 
De klaagmuur was niet meer toegankelijk.
Kan Europa dat bedoelen?
Waarschijnlijk gaat men zeggen dat er vertrouwen moet zijn in de PA, net zo als er vertrouwen moet zijn dat Hamas nu gematigd is.
Het is eigenlijk meer een staaltje van "wensdenken", maar helaas wel met ernstige gevolgen.
 
MS

 
 
 
 

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Jerusalem: An Undivided Capital for All Religions
EU Ministers Seek to Split Jerusalem for Palestinian State


European Union ministers, forging a high-profile role in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, are scheduled to meet in Brussels Monday (Dec. 7) to endorse a plan that would divide Jerusalem and make the eastern portion the capital of a future Palestinian state. In addition to potentially closing off part of the city to non-Muslims, the proposal undermines the future of the peace process by circumventing future negotiations.[1]

The resolution, put forth by rotating EU President and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, pushes aside the EU’s existing foreign policy on Jerusalem, which calls for a two-state solution that “should take into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide.”[2]

The EU proposal also implies recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.[3] That mirrors recent statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who called for pushing aside negotiations and unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state.[4]

Israel has been clear that it wants to move ahead on talks on the peace process. In one such gesture, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Nov. 25 called for a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank to encourage the Palestinian Authority to rejoin talks on the peace process.
I want to say clearly to the Palestinians: Now is the time to begin negotiations,” Netanyahu said. “Now is the time to move forward towards peace. There is no more time to waste. Israel today has taken a far reaching step towards peace. It’s time for the Palestinians to do the same.[5]

Regarding Jerusalem, our sovereign capital, our position is well known. We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital. As always, we are committed to protect the freedom of worship for all faiths and to ensure equal and fair treatment for all the city’s residents, Jews and Arabs alike.”[6]

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response to the Swedish proposal, encouraging the Europeans to instead focus on getting the Palestinians to take steps to demonstrate they are interested in pursuing peace: “After the important steps taken by the government of Israel to enable the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians, the European Union must now exert pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Steps like those being led by Sweden only contribute to the opposite effect.”[7]

Freedom of Religion in Jerusalem

• Since Israel took control of east Jerusalem in 1967, the government has allowed the Islamic wakf to administer the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif in Arabic). Muslim worshippers have open and free access to the site, although Israeli police can restrict entry when violent incidents take place or when there is intelligence of impending unrest. Jews are banned from praying at the site. Israel has provided access to holy sites to people of all faiths in Jerusalem and the rest of the country.[8]

• Concerns remain about Palestinian commitment to protect religious sites. In October 2000, for example, Palestinians destroyed the compound of Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus. In the same month, Palestinians attacked and desecrated an ancient synagogue in Jericho. Another Jewish site, Rachel’s Tomb, near Bethlehem, has been attacked on numerous occasions.[9]

• Between 1948 and 1967, 58 synagogues in the Jewish quarter of the Old City were demolished and 38,000 Jewish tombstones on the Mount of Olives were destroyed. Some of the tombstones were used to build fences and floor latrines for the Jordanian army as well as to pave roads. Gravestones that were more than 1,000 years old were destroyed. Access to the Western Wall and other places of worship was denied to all Israelis by the government of Jordan.[10]

• Israel allows people of all faiths access to the country’s many holy sites. Israeli law mandates that everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, has the right to visit all holy places within Israel.[11]

Anyone who attempts to hinder this right is subject to criminal prosecution and imprisonment for as many as five years as stated in the Protection of Holy Places law, passed by the Knesset (Israeli parliament) on June 27, 1967: “The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”[12]

Political and Demographic Aspects

• The UN Partition Plan of 1947, which the Zionist movement accepted, stated that Jerusalem would be a corpus separatum. Transjordan, along with other Arab countries, rejected the partition plan, attacked Israel and captured east Jerusalem. When Jordan attacked Israel at the beginning of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel staged a counter-attack and took control of the eastern half of the city.[13]

• Some Jewish neighborhoods were established across what is now known as the Green Line before 1947. Neve Yaakov, situated in what is now considered East Jerusalem, was founded in 1924 by Zionists who purchased the land from a nearby Arab village.[14]

Parts of the neighborhood known as Sheikh Jarrah, or Shimon Hatzaddik in Hebrew, were bought by Jews in 1876 where they established homes. When Jordan took control of east Jerusalem in 1948, hundreds of Jews were expelled from the neighborhood.[15]

• According to 2005 figures, the population of Jerusalem is 719,000, of which 464,000 are Jewish, 232,000 are Muslim, and 15,000 are Christian.[16]

• The Jewish population of Jerusalem has comprised a plurality in the city since 1844 and a majority since 1896. In 1844, there were 7,120 Jewish residents of the city, 5,000 Muslim residents and 3,390 Christians. By 1896, the Jewish population climbed to 28,112, Muslim residents numbered 8,560 and the Christian population was 8,748. By 1945, the total population of the city was 164,330. The number of Jewish residents was 99,320, Muslims numbered 33,680 and there were 31,330 Christians.[17]

• Illegal construction in East Jerusalem by Palestinians is funded by the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, in what has been seen as a deliberate policy to influence the status of the city. Hatem Abed El-Khader Eid, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated that between 1998 and 2002, 6,000 housing units were illegally constructed in East Jerusalem; the Jerusalem Municipality demolished just 198 of them.[18]

Under Jordanian rule, the population of East Jerusalem increased by 860 people from 1948-1967.[19] By contrast, under Israeli rule, the Muslim population of East Jerusalem has increased from 66,000 to 229,000 from 1967-2006.[20]

Recent Palestinian and Clerical Incitement over the Temple Mount

• Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad said “the Palestinians' popular response stems from the Israeli aggression, and we are liable to lose control over events.”[21]

• The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah said, “We will liberate al-Aksa (mosque) with blood and fire” and that he was ready to become a “martyr” to protect Al-Aqsa.[22]

• On Oct. 9, 2009 the Fatah Central Council called for a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to protest “measures against al-Aksa Mosque” and said Israel was “besieging” the mosque.[23] 


Footnotes:   

[1] Ravid, Barak, “Haaretz Exclusive: EU draft document on division of Jerusalem,” Haaretz, Dec. 2, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131988.html  

[2] European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, “Frequently asked questions: Jerusalem,” European Union, http://www.delwbg.ec.europa.eu/en/faq/index.htm#Jerusalem. Retrieved Dec. 2, 2009.

[3] Ravid, Barak, “Livni to Sweden: Ditch EU plan on dividing Jerusalem,” Haaretz, Dec. 1, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131926.html

[4] Mozgovaya, Natasha, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and Agencies, “Palestinians under world pressure not to declare state unilaterally,” Haaretz, Nov. 17, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1128496.html

[5]Statement by PM Netanyahu on the Cabinet Decision to Suspend New Construction in Judea and Samaria,” Prime Minister’s Office, Nov. 25, 2009, http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/EventsDiary/eventfreeze251109.htm

[6]Statement by PM Netanyahu on the Cabinet Decision to Suspend New Construction in Judea and Samaria,” Prime Minister’s Office, Nov. 25, 2009, http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/EventsDiary/eventfreeze251109.htm

[7] Ravid, Barak, “Livni to Sweden: Ditch EU plan on dividing Jerusalem,” Haaretz, Dec. 1, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131926.html

[8] Shragai, Nadav, “No moving Jewish lips in prayer on Temple Mount, says Dichter,” Haaretz, Jan. 3, 2008, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/940710.html; Ami-El, Mark “The Destruction Of The Temple Mount Antiquities,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Aug. 1, 2002, http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp483.htm; “Protection of Holy Places Law, 1967,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, June 30, 1998, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace%20Process/Guide%20to%20the%20Peace%20Process/Protection%20of%20Holy%20Places%20Law 

[9] Shragai, Nadav, “The Palestinian Authority and the Jewish Holy Sites in the West Bank: Rachel's Tomb as a Test Case,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Dec. 2, 2007, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=443&PID=0&IID=1923

[10] Shragai, Nadav“The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem,” Jerusalem Viewpoints (JCPA), July-August 2009, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=443&PID=0&IID=3052; Jordanian Annexation of West Bank, Resolution Adopted by the House of Deputies, Amman, 24 April, 1950,” Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1947-1974/10+Jordanian+Annexation+of+West+Bank-+Resolution+A.htm

[11] Protection of Holy Places Law, 1967, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 27 1967,  http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1947-1974/14+Protection+of+Holy+Places+Law.htm

[12] Protection of Holy Places Law, 1967, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 27 1967,  http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1947-1974/14+Protection+of+Holy+Places+Law.htm

[13] “United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181,” MidEastWeb, http://www.mideastweb.org/181.htm. Accessed Oct. 13, 2009    

[14] “Shragai, Nadav, “The U.S.-Israeli Dispute over Building in Jerusalem: The Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon HaTzadik Neighborhood,” The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 27, 2009, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=3056&TTL=The_U.S.-Israeli_Dispute_over_Building_in_Jerusalem:_The_Sheikh_Jarrah-Shimon_HaTzadik_Neighbo

[15] “Shragai, Nadav, “The U.S.-Israeli Dispute over Building in Jerusalem: The Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon HaTzadik Neighborhood,” The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 27, 2009, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=3056&TTL=The_U.S.-Israeli_Dispute_over_Building_in_Jerusalem:_The_Sheikh_Jarrah-Shimon_HaTzadik_Neighbo

[16] “Population of Jerusalem, By age, Population Group and Geographical Spreading, 2005,” The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, http://www.jiis.org.il/imageBank/File/shnaton_2006/shnaton_C1005_2005.pdf. Accessed Oct. 13, 2009                                                                           

[17] “The Population of Palestine Prior to 1948,” MidEast Web, http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm. Accessed Dec. 2, 2009

[18] Weiner, Justus Reid, “Illegal Construction in Jerusalem,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2003, p.88. Abstract available here http://www.jcpa.org/jlmbldg.htm 

[19] Efrat, Elisha, “Changes in the Settlement Pattern in Judea and Samaria under Jordanian Rule,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 1977, p. 107. Details available here http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a762966273

[20] “Population of Jerusalem, By age, Population Group and Geographical Spreading, 2005,” The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, http://www.jiis.org.il/imageBank/File/shnaton_2006/shnaton_C1005_2005.pdf. Accessed Oct. 13, 2009

[21] “High Tension Over Al-Aqsa Aggressions,” Islam Online, Oct. 5, 2009, http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1254573335909&pagename=Zone-English-News%2FNWELayout

[22] Abu Toameh, Khaled “Palestinians urged to defend al-Aksa,” The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 9, 2009, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1254861905996&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull; Issacharoff, Avi, “Third intifada unlikely, despite Jerusalem tensions,” Haaretz, Oct. 9, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1119817.html; Lappin, Yaakov, “The lethal al-Aqsa plot hoax,” YnetNews, Feb. 6, 2007, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3361820,00.html; “PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting,” Prime Minister’s Office, Oct. 12, 2009, http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/Spokesman/2009/10/spokestart121009.htm; Oster, Mary, “Violent clashes in Jerusalem, rhetoric ratchet up tensions,” JTA, Oct. 6, 2009, http://jta.org/news/article/2009/10/06/1008339/temple-mount-is-front-line-in-this-weeks-jerusalem-violence

[23] Ibid.

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