11/27/2009

Berlin and Jerusalem

Berlin and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship. Ever since the 19th Century, when there was widespread sentiment that "Berlin is the New Jerusalem", the cities been, in a sense, antipodal. We all know about the prescient words of the Meshekh Chokhma, and we know about the fortunes of the two cities since then.
I was reminded of their antipodality this week. Both Jerusalem and Berlin were divided cities for parts of the 20th century. Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 and Berlin between 1961 and 1989 (in truth, it was divided for a longer period than that, but without a wall).
Yes, as the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, it clamors for Jerusalem to be redivided. In fact, this partition of Jerusalem is championed by the same folks who wrote all those articles comparing the Separation Fence to the Berlin Wall.
Do an experiment: gauge the reaction of people to the statement "Berlin will never again be divided" with the statement "Jerusalem will never again be divided".
Some might argue that Jerusalem is already divided de facto. That may be true, and I am certainly not arguing that the idea of partitioning Jerusalem should not be carefully considered. I AM, however, saying that there's not a snowball's chance in hell that Gilo will end up on the Palestinian side of the partition (look at a map of Jerusalem today and a map of Jerusalem in 1967; there's no way that we're going back there). And I AM saying that a partition of Jerusalem, in any form, would be tragic.
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