Does Hebron foreshadow the future of Jerusalem?

Michael Totten recently posted on his travels to Hebron, which is the south-central area of the West Bank. He writes about the palpable tensions between the Palestinians and the small Jewish community there and some of the incidents of violence against the Jews. I’m sure that someone with a more pro-Palestinian viewpoint would write with a different emphasis, but Totten’s discussion of Hebron is well done. (From what I can tell, he tends to be quite pro-Israel based on his — and Israel’s — commitment to liberalism and democracy.)

He also makes an interesting connection with the proposal to divide Jerusalem in a future peace deal in his concluding paragraphs:

Israel’s capital city once looked much like Hebron does now. The 1967 armistice lines slice right through the heart of Jerusalem alongside the walls of the Old City. There is no chance the borders of a future Palestinian state will match that line precisely, but if Palestine acquires any part of Jerusalem as its capital, a border will by necessity be drawn somewhere in that urban environment, so the two sides had better truly make peace if it happens.

Because Hebron, historian Yaacov Lozowick wrote, “is what happens when Israelis and Palestinians agree to divide a city, but can’t agree to live together in peace. The blame for lack of peace is irrelevant: each side will doubtlessly say it’s all the fault of the other, but the result won’t be any nicer thereby. The myriads of observers, pundits, politicians, dreamers, visionaries and true believers who all know for a certainty that dividing Jerusalem is the key to peace in the Middle East need urgently to visit Hebron.”

In another post, this one much shorter, Totten compared violent extremism in the Palestinian and Israeli communities.


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