Australia must look inward before attempting to re-divide Jerusalem

Australia must look inward before attempting to re-divide Jerusalem

The U.S. and Israel flags on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, Dec. 6, 2017. Getty Images
The U.S. and Israel flags on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, Dec. 6, 2017. Getty Images

The Australian government has decided that Israel’s capital should be torn in half, resuming the apartheid-like status that prevailed the last time the Arabs occupied part of Jerusalem.

Would the Temple Mount be in Israel’s part of Jerusalem? Nope. Judaism’s holiest site is “Palestinian,” according to the Australians.

What about the Western Wall? Not that, either. It’s “occupied territory.”

How about the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, where Jews have lived since time immemorial? Off-limits to Jews.

The Mount of Olives, the world’s oldest Jewish cemetery? Not a chance.

What about other Jewish sacred sites in and around the Old City walls, such as Solomon’s Pools or the Tower of David? If Australia has its way, they will be renamed Suleiman’s Pools and the Tower of Daoud.

Australia’s decision to recognize only “western Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital is not “a step in the right direction,” as some pundits have claimed. It’s an outrageous attempt to promote the redivision of Jerusalem — to give the most Jewishly significant part of the city to the Palestinian

The Central Bus Station is not where the priests of ancient of Israel led the Temple service, and the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian walkway is not where countless Jews have prayed and wept throughout the centuries for the return of the Jewish people to their land. The construction of neighborhoods to the west of the Old City walls began in modern times to alleviate overcrowding within the city walls.

The Jewish people have never regarded those areas as having a religious or historical significance comparable to that of the Old City. King David’s throne was not situated in French Hill or in the food court at the Malcha Mall.

Ironically, the Palestinian Authority is denouncing the Australian decision for giving the Jews anything at all. You would think the PA would be delighted. After all, J Street and the State Department crowd have been telling us for years that if Jews would just hand over the parts of Jerusalem that it liberated in 1967 — the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and the rest — then the Palestinian Arabs would make peace. Just stop building “settlements” in the Old City, says Martin Indyk, former special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

But lo and behold, when the Australians this week proposed just that, the PA exploded in angry denunciations. Of course, they did so because in their eyes, every inch of Jerusalem — eastern or western, like every inch of Israel — is “occupied Palestine.”

What Australia, like many other Western countries, fails to understand is that the Palestinian Arabs will never accept 50 percent of anything. They will sign temporary “peace agreements” that will give them part of the territory and other advantages. But they will never sincerely or permanently accept anything less than 100 percent of the land of Israel.

Some supporters of Israel think that they have to be grateful for whatever few crumbs the world throws our way. They think the Jews will look unreasonable unless they praise that which deserves no praise.

I disagree. I say that turnabout is fair play.

Jewish and Zionist organizations should announce they recognize only western Canberra as the capital of Australia, and should launch a campaign to return the eastern part of the city to the indigenous Aborigine tribes from whom the white colonialist settlers stole it. Down with the Australian occupation! Justice for the Aborigines!

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