14: What are we arguing about?

Here is a map of the Israeli settlements around Jerusalem. The green line on the map is the 1967 1948 border. The settlements beyond the green line are in territory intended for a Palestinian state. You begin to see the difficulties! Sorry I'm not techy enough to post the map itself, but here's the link.http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/23/world/middleeast/jerusalem-map.html?ref=middleeast And per an earlier discussion you can see the area designated East Jerusalem.UPDATE: I pooh-poohed TNR the other day, but here is a heartfelt lament by Leon Wieseltier about today's subject: "Why does the Israeli government allow the argument for a unified Jerusalem to be mistaken for the heartless revanchism of these settlers? Whatever arrangements about Jerusalem are eventually made in a peace agreement, and I no longer expect to see one in my lifetime, Jerusalem will remain both the capital of Israel and a demographically mottled city. It makes no sense to show contempt for the people with whom you are destined to live." http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/washington-diarist-mean-streetsUPDATE: Ha'aretz has this on the Obama/Netanyahu meeting Tuesday evening: "In spite of attempts on both the Israeli and American sides to bring the crisis to an end, there is still lingering tension and lack of trust within the Obama administration toward Netanyahu. An American source close to the administration said that Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have decided to "test" Netanyahu and see whether he will carry out his promised gestures of good will toward the Palestinians. According to an Israeli source who has discussed the matter with senior U.S. officials, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the president are dissatisfied with a letter given to them by Netanyahu, in which he detailed steps he is willing to take to restore American confidence in his government. The prime minister and his aides said that a meeting with Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, which served as a preamble to the meeting with Obama, was conducted in excellent spirits." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1158514.htmlUPDATE on the East Jerusalem issue: "It is an approach that can be summed up as: "what's mine is mine, and what you think is yours will hopefully be mine, too." It discloses with stark clarity the underlying principle of Netanyahu's Jerusalem policies: the status of Jerusalem and its borders will be determined by Israeli deeds rather than by negotiations. More bluntly, who needs agreement with Palestinians or recognition of the international community when "everybody knows"?" http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/19/jerusalem_settlements_and_the_everybody_knows_fallacyUPDATE: Ooops! Another timing problem: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/middleeast/25jerusalem.html?hp

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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