We cannot and must not sit back and passively watch events unfold. Each of us has a role to play to ensure that Jerusalem is never divided again
08 April '10
On Saturday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad threw down the gauntlet. Speaking to Christian pilgrims during Easter celebrations in Bethlehem, he vowed that Israel’s capital would be divided again within 12 months.
“Next year,” Fayyad said, “we shall celebrate in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in east Jerusalem, capital of the Palestinian state.” Then, as if to underline the point, he added that “our people, joined by all humanity, will celebrate the creation of the independent Palestinian state on all 1967 borders – a state whose capital shall be Jerusalem.”
It would of course be easy to dismiss Fayyad’s remarks as more of the same tired old rhetoric. After all, he isn’t the first Palestinian leader to cast a covetous eye on the jewel that is Jewish Jerusalem, so why should we take his bluster any more seriously than that of his predecessors?
Yet as the recent international uproar over the capital made clear, this time things might just be different. Never before, it seems, has the simple act of building Jewish housing come under such withering criticism from an American administration, nor has the pressure ever been greater to impose a freeze on Jewish life in the city.
Clearly, the battle lines over Jerusalem’s future have been drawn, and the last thing we can afford to do is to adopt a sense of complacency. Now is the time for each of us to stand up and join the struggle to keep Jerusalem safe and under Israeli control.
FOR THOSE of you who cherish the Holy City as I do and wish to see it remain strong and united, here are a few simple and practical things that you can do to help. They are what I have referred to in the past as the “Seven ‘P’s” of Jewish activism:
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