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Thursday, May 25, 2017

The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies

The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies

by Shireen Qudosi  •  May 25, 2017 at 4:30 am
  • The Palestinians and other powers such as the OIC, the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality.
  • If we are going to "reset" the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. Israel exists, and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem. Further, the Jewish people have proven themselves as more capable custodians of Jerusalem than their Muslim neighbors, who are already burdened by challenges in their own territory.
  • Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity.
U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the Western Wall in Israel was the most iconic moment of his recent visit to the Middle East. (Illustrative photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The most iconic moment of President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East was not his "speech on Islam"; it was his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Western Wall is a contested space, and that controversy has bled outside Israel's borders. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently reignited the debate, mentioning the Wall as being in "Jerusalem", instead of in Israel. It is a play on language often used to deny Israeli sovereignty over a space that clearly belongs to the Jewish people, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, quickly rectified in response.
How we talk about religion matters. If we want to be effective in moving forward, it is important to be truthful. The truth is that Israel won the Six Day War, thereby liberating eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, which had seized it illegally when it attacked Israel in 1948-49 and expelled all Jews from eastern Jerusalem.

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