Jerusalem Must Not Be Severed from Israel

[National Review] Aron U. Raskas - President Bush arrived in Jerusalem to discuss plans for a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. According to news reports, this settlement may involve dividing Jerusalem - placing large segments of the city, including Christian holy sites, under the control of the Palestinian Authority. It is important to consider the dangers that would arise from any such plan. After centuries of strife, the State of Israel alone has been able to preserve the peace and freedom of Jerusalem. Most of the desecrations of Jewish and Christian holy sites in the Palestinian territories have occurred under the rule of the Fatah party, to which many suggest that parts of Jerusalem should now be ceded. Hamas' ascent to power in Gaza, and its threatened dominance of the West Bank, coupled with the increasing insurgence being attempted by al-Qaeda in the Palestinian territories, adds a growing, and thus troubling, Islamic component to any analysis of the likely fate of Jerusalem's holy sites under Palestinian rule. There is little doubt that ceding even a portion of Jerusalem to Palestinian control would strengthen the role of such radicals, much as Israel's retreat from Lebanon and evacuation of Gaza brought Hizbullah and Hamas to prominence. The Buddhist statues of the Bamiyan Valley were reduced to rubble with only the Islamic fundamentalists to blame. Western leaders must do all in their power to avoid being enshrined in history as the ones responsible for bringing to Jerusalem the Islamic regime that destroyed Judaism's and Christianity's holiest sites.

2008-01-10 01:00:00

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