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'It's illogical that Jerusalem will be smuggled into negotiations rooms as if it were a minor issue Photo: Yair Sagi
'It's illogical that Jerusalem will be smuggled into negotiations rooms as if it were a minor issue Photo: Yair Sagi
 
 
Hagai Segal  

 

Jerusalem cannot be sacrificed for peace

Op-ed: Bill banning talks on capital does not reduce chances of peace – it simply reduces illusions

Published: 01.09.14, 10:25 / Israel Opinion

In a normal state of affairs, there would be no need for Miri Regev's bill. Two important laws, which have been included in our book of laws since the past millennium, should prevent negotiations over Jerusalem to begin with.

 

 

One is Basic Law: Jerusalem, 1980, and the other is a more ancient law which prescribes an irreversible punishment for anyone working to remove sovereign territories from the State. Since Rabin's murder, those who quote it are usually accused of incitement, so we’ll give up on the full wording here. A word to the wise is enough as is Miri Regev to Netanyahu.

 

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Full op-ed
If any prime minister in Israel – either a fool or not a fool – is still interested in sacrificing Jerusalem for the sake of peace, he should seek preliminary permission from the people or at least from the Knesset. It's illogical that Israel's capital will be smuggled into the negotiations room right under the noses of the elected representatives, as if it were a minor issue the prime minister and Palestinian Authority chairman can finalized amongst themselves, and present it later on as a done deal.

 

Jerusalem is not another dark terrorist release deal, nor is it even Oslo A or Oslo B. It has been the subject of Jewish yearning from time immemorial. All past and future generations should voice their opinion about the fact it is being discussed, but due to technical constraints Regev is suggesting settling for the Knesset's approval. What's so terrible about that? Who says Regev is more ridiculous than the MKs who believe in the possibility of peace with a guy like Abbas?

 

By the way, according to the aforementioned basic law, the prime minister will need a majority of 61 lawmakers in any case in order to divide Jerusalem. The chances of achieving such a majority are slim. There is no majority in the Knesset for abandoning Israel's holy places. There will be MKs voting against it even in Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni's factions.

 

Therefore, Regev's bill does not reduce the chances of peace – it simply reduces the illusions of peace. The issue of Jerusalem will be taken off the agenda in time, and so will the right of return hopefully, so that the Palestinians will have no reason to be disappointed later on. John Kerry may have a reason.

 

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