Yesterday, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a bill requiring a two-thirds majority to divide Jerusalem. The vote was 64 to 52. The only bright spot is that there’s enough internal opposition to this idiocy that a change of seven votes would have defeated it.
This is not a good idea. The reality in Israel/Palestine is that neither population is going anywhere and the only way to achieve anything like peace is to come up with a solution that comes as close as possible to satisfying both parties. Neither side is served well by the status quo.
There is no way the Palestinians could conceivably accept a solution that completely leaves out Jerusalem. This freezes the status quo. Left alone, this pretty much means unending violence. No matter what the outcome, it can’t end well. A lot of people are going to get killed in a way that’s avoidable.
A linkage between an American embassy in Jerusalem, presumably West Jerusalem because it’s both closer to the Knesset and easier to build there, and an undivided Jerusalem is absolutely unnecessary. In fact, it’s fundamentally nonsensical.
Al Jazeera reports that Israel intends to move Arab communities out of areas of East Jerusalem, something I’ve also heard elsewhere. Al Jazeera also reports that the status of the Arabs of East Jerusalem is somewhere between the status of Israeli citizens and of occupied Palestinians. Why? They either live in occupied territory or they live in Israel. If the Israeli government thinks they live in Israel proper permanently then they’re Israeli now, unless they opt to leave, which they obviously won’t. If Israel unreservedly thinks they live in Israel, the only difference between them and Arab Israeli citizens is when where they live became part of Israel. This would be like the United States not giving citizenship to native Hawaiians. If the Israelis don’t unreservedly think the East Jerusalem Arab residents live in Israel, why should they expect the rest of the world to?