Jerusalem, 1949.


The place of Jerusalem in the process of seeking peace in the Middle East is unique. Its historical, emotional and international complexities set it apart from other issues which may be solved on the basis of mutually agreed boundaries. The questions that the Arabs raise about Jerusalem cannot be decided by drawing a line. The future of Jerusalem cannot be resolved by division.

This does not mean that Jerusalem is "an insoluble problem." It means that Jerusalem's people of differing faiths, cultures and aspirations must find peaceful ways to live together other than by drawing a line in the sand with a stick. It is no solution to build again concrete walls and barbed wire through the middle of the city.

The problem of Jerusalem is difficult because age-old and deeply felt emotions are encrusted over the rationality necessary to find solutions. But I am convinced that these solutions can be found by men of good will.

Let me be perfectly candid. The thing I dread most is that this city, so beautiful, so meaningful, so holy to millions of people, should ever be divided again; that barbed wire fences, mine fields and concrete barriers should again sever its streets; that armed men again patrol a frontier through its heart. I fear the re-division of Jerusalem not only as the mayor of the city, as a Jew and as an Israeli, but as a human being who is deeply sensitive to its history and who cares profoundly about the well-being of its inhabitants.

Jerusalem is, of course, one of the oldest cities. Signs of human habitation have been found dating back at least 4,000 years. In the course of these millennia it has been coveted and conquered by a host of peoples: Canaanites, Jebusites, Jews, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottomans, British, Jews. But throughout those thousands of years, Jerusalem has been divided for less than two decades - from 1948 to 1967. It must never again be divided. Once more

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