On Wednesday morning, we were still caught up in the Republicans' sweeping victory in the US Congressional midterm election.
Benjamin Netanyahu is on the winning side, commentators said. US President Barack Obama, who was defeated, will be required to handle the Israeli prime minister with kid gloves, they explained, otherwise the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate will veto his decisions.
The tables have turned: The chicken has overpowered the lame duck.
The malicious joy at the Prime Minister's Office was likely interrupted several hours later following the events in Jerusalem. The following must be said, unfortunately: What happened in Washington has nothing to do with what is happening in Israel's capital. The Republicans' victory will have no effect whatsoever on the Palestinian uprising and on how its outcomes will be dealt with.
At this rate of events, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to state that, ironically, Netanyahu of all people may go down in history as the prime minister who lost Jerusalem, no less. Not as the prime minister who divided Jerusalem, as the Likud spokespeople used to accuse Shimon Peres, but as the one who lost Jerusalem as our united capital.
This conflagration forces the decision makers to buckle down and try to locate the sources of frustration on the Palestinian side, deal with the root of the problem.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu lashed out at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas again, accusing him of incitement. But conversations with senior European diplomats, who are monitoring the situation in Jerusalem with a lot of concern, reveal that Europe and the United States mainly hold the Israeli side fully responsible for the deterioration due to, among other things, the announcement of construction plans within Palestinian population centers in East Jerusalem and what appears as a change in the status quo in the city's holy sites.
The main claim against the Israeli government has to do with the end of its negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu's political status quo perception is seen as unacceptable by the international community.
In other words, the prevailing opinion in the bureaus of prime ministers in Europe and in the American administration is that there is no chance to quell the situation in Jerusalem without a new, comprehensive initiative for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
It's possible that after almost 50 years of Israeli control of Jerusalem, it's time to come up with new rules of behavior and division of responsibilities.
A dialogue accompanied by an international umbrella, which will include the negotiations on the arrangements in the holy places, is the only way to prevent the religious war, whose outcomes are more difficult than any other type of conflict between states.