Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting
WORLD POLICY ON AIR

World Policy Journal is proud to share our weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern with timely insights from global affairs analyst Michael Moran of Transformative.io, risk and geostrategy consultants. Click here to subscribe on iTunes!

THE LATEST

AddToAny
Share/Save

Charles G. Cogan: Slouching Toward Jerusalem

On December 8, the State Department issued the following statement: "The U.S. position on Jerusalem is clear and remains unchanged: that Jerusalem and all other permanent status issues must be resolved by the two parties themselves. It has been official U.S. policy for many years that the future status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue...." Why did the State Department feel compelled to issue such a statement? Apparently, because in Brussels that same day, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council issued a statement on the Middle East Peace Process, and one can only conclude that the U.S. government wanted to distance itself from the EU memo. On Jerusalem, the EU statement had this, inter alia, to say: "The Council recalls that it has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states." An earlier EU draft specifically stated that the Palestinian capital should be in East Jerusalem, but intense Israeli lobbying, including and especially among the new EU members from Eastern Europe, resulted in striking that reference in the final version. Usually, the American phrase that Israeli-Palestinian issues “must be settled by the parties themselves” is, in effect, a code word for allowing the Israelis perpetuate the status quo—the Israelis, of course, being by far the stronger party. At least the U.S. statement declared that Jerusalem remains an outstanding issue, and this is in itself important. It seems clear, however, that Washington, while openly favoring a “two-state” solution, cannot bring itself to advocate a “two-capitals” solution as well. The assertion in the December 8 statement that “the U.S. position on Jerusalem is clear and remains unchanged” contains a number of historical omissions. Initially, during the Truman Administration, Washington's declared policy was that “there should be a special international regime for Jerusalem.” After the Six Day War in 1967, when Israel extended its laws and administration to newly conquered East Jerusalem, the United States declared that it “does not accept or recognize these measures as altering the status of Jerusalem.” In 1976, Washington declared that “substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem is illegal under the [Geneva] Convention [of 1949].” In the late 1960s and onwards, the U.S. position shifted from that of the “internationalization” of Jerusalem to seeing it as an “undivided city,” with free access to the holy places for all faiths. President Reagan stated in 1982 that “we remain convinced that Jerusalem must remain undivided, but its final status should be decided through negotiations.” [Note: all the above declarations remain position statements. No implementation has taken place.] According to the Century One Bookstore on the Internet, there are twelve “periods” (or regimes) that have existed in Jerusalem. The Jews were the first (Hyksos period), but they are nowhere—until 1948—in the Common Era, whose periods are as follows: Roman, Byzantine, early Muslim, Crusader Kingdom, Mameluk, Ottoman Turk, and British Mandate. Why then should Israel have exclusive governance over Jerusalem (not to speak of the fact that a former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, offered East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital at Camp David in 2000, only to have the agreement as a whole rejected by the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat)? Is this a case of historical overreach? The very key position that East Jerusalem occupies in any final settlement should be patent from the above history. That is why the recent decision of Prime Minister Netanyahu to institute a ten-month freeze in settlement construction on the West Bank (but excluding East Jerusalem) falls far short of adequate. It is not even a good beginning, contrary to official statements from Washington. Charles G. Cogan was the chief of the Near East South Asia Division in the Directorate of Operations of the CIA from August 1979 to August 1984. From September 1984 until July 1989 he was CIA Chief in Paris. He is currently an Associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Reply
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account, used to display your avatar.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image. Ignore spaces and be careful about upper and lower case.
FALL FUNDRAISER

 

Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Intern at World Policy


Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.

 

Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 

SPONSORED

When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.


Are the U.S. and China on a collision course?
Get the facts from Amitai Etzioni in “Avoiding War with China.”


MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Nov. 30.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook

FOLLOW US