As Richard Goldwasser points out in his op-ed “Jerusalem The Divisible” in today’s Times of Israel:
The ostensibly unassailable assumption that Jerusalem must remain Israel’s undivided and eternal capital, however, fails to take into account the evolution of Jerusalem’s boundaries.
He goes on to give an extremely brief – but enlightening – outline of some of the highlights of the history of Jerusalem’s boundaries. His conclusion:
Abraham Lincoln once posited, “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” So it is with Jerusalem. Calling the Palestinian village of Beit Hanina Jerusalem doesn’t make it Jerusalem. At least not in a way that has any meaning for the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem. Perhaps that is why two of Israel’s past prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, were prepared to cede the Palestinian neighborhoods in present-day Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state.
Now here is an opportunity for REAL creative diplomacy. Since part of Iran’s justification for their nuclear program is for internal energy needs, why couldn’t our government reach out and suggest that U.S. companies be allowed to bid on this project? Of course, this runs counter to all of the current clamoring for sanctions+ and military action.
But when one has a logjam, you typically can’t break it up by continuing to push the logs in the same direction. The logs just keep getting more jammed up. So, instead it calls for something – sometimes an explosive charge, to break up the jam. It seems the same way with diplomacy. The current round of negotiations with Iran seem to be déjà vu all over again. There is a need for a type of creative, out-of-the-box action to break the logjam.
It seems that providing U.S. knowhow, project management and efficiency to a peaceful, energy project (which could be used as a face-saving reason for Iran to scale back its nuclear program) could go a long way to setting a new tone in relations with a country that cannot simply be “put in its place”. Iran is going to continue to be a key player in the region no matter what the West and Israel try to do – simply because of geography, economy and religion. It can be argued that continuing the lack of ongoing diplomatic relations and the presentation of negotiating positions that contain clear non-starters (for several reasons) for the Iranian regime, actually gives the West and Israel much less control on the outcome of the current standoff.
Time for creativity.
- Iran cancels $2 bln dam deal with China: report (dawn.com)
- Iran cancels $2 bn dam contract with China: reports (terradaily.com)
- Soltanieh: IAEA report proves peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities (EndtheLie.com)
- Iran exploits diplomacy to advance its nuclear program (articles.boston.com)
- Sanctions against Iran to tighten despite talks, US official says (timesofisrael.com)