The Status Quo Solution for Jerusalem

Sharing sovereignty of political territory is not practiced often, yet it seems to be the only reasonable solution for the complex issue of Jerusalem. Using the holy places of Jerusalem as a model the author shows how sharing sacred space, albeit on a very small scale, can be done peacefully. For more than a century Greeks, Latins, Armenians, and Copts have shared the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in an interlocking system of scattered sovereignty. Such a system also could work between Israelis and Palestinians as they share the sacred space of Jerusalem.

CHAD F. EMMETT is assistant professor of geography at Brigham Young University.

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The future status of Jerusalem is such a complex, emotion-laden issue that discussion and decisions concerning the city were relegated to the final stages of the peace process inaugurated by the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles of September 1993. It was feared that, if Jerusalem's status were to be placed on the negotiation table prior to solving other key issues, the peace process would come to a halt. Israelis and Palestinians have proven capable of compromising on many issues, but Jerusalem seems to be a point of intransigence.

A plethora of solutions have been recommended to settle the issue of Jerusalem. [1] These recommendations present three general scenarios: an international city governed by an international organization or a council of religious leaders rather than by either of its claimant nations; a united city under the sovereignty of one state; and a shared or joint city in which both states share sovereignty. Another solution would be a return to a partitioned city, but neither side currently supports such a plan (see Map 1 for the current boundaries and settlement patterns in the city).

The solution that most effectively would preserve the sanctity of Jerusalem and its holy sites would be to depoliticize the city through internationalization (at least the Old City or, even better, the wider Jerusalem region-the corpus separatum envisioned by the United Nations in its 1947 partition recommendation). Under the rule of Ottoman Turks, the various communities of Jerusalem lived together in relative harmony. As long as no local community exercised sovereignty over the other, the Jews, Muslims, and Christians of the city coexisted in their separate quarters. It was only with the rise of Arab and Jewish nationalisms during the late Ottoman and then British eras that competition between Jews and Arabs for control of Jerusalem evolved into conflict. Placing Jerusalem under the control of the UN or a coalition of religious bodies once again would give no single community exclusive control. Peaceful coexistence could return. However, establishing an international city would require significant outside pressure, and even then it is doubtful that Israel would relinquish control of what it calls its "eternal capital."

From the standpoint of the most efficient governance and the spatial integrity of the city, the best solution would be to have a united city under one rule, which at present means Israel. Having one power in control could work if all peoples accepted the fact; however, given the ties of the Christian and Muslim Palestinians to the city and the Israeli policies since 1967 of land expropriations and population displacement, it is doubtful that either the Christians or the Muslims would ever willingly accept Israeli control of the whole city. Limited autonomy through boroughs could offer some compensation for Jerusalem's Palestinians, but it would deny their equally strong desire to control their own sections of the city. With neither group willing to relinquish control to the other, a united Jerusalem under either completely Palestinian or completely Israeli control never would know true peace.

Thus, it would seem that the only solution with any possibility of acceptance is for both groups to share the city. This would require compromise on the part of both nations-compromise insofar as neither party will ever peacefully maintain exclusive sovereignty over the city. Sharing political space is rather uncommon, so there are relatively few models to use as guides for Jerusalem. One possible model is Sari Nusseibeh's suggestion of "scattered sovereignty," which proposes that the city comprise "zones of sovereignty which are not necessarily continuous geographically." [2] This means that the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be part of Israel, and the now fragmented Arab neighborhoods would be part of Palestine. Further defining his idea, Nusseibeh (writing with Mark Heller) suggested that "Israel's Jerusalem and Palestine's Jerusalem will each have a separate municipal council that will govern intercrossing and intersecting neighborhoods and areas which are divided by imaginary sovereign lines. Israel's Jerusalem will be its capital, while Palestine's Jerusalem will be its capital." [3] 

Such a solution might seem a bit farfetched, but there is a precedent for sharing sacred space through scattered sovereignty in Jerusalem that has worked with relative success, albeit on a far smaller scale, for more than a century. This is the "Status Quo" regime that governed the sharing of Jerusalem's holy places by various faiths and sects under the Ottomans and the British Mandate and which continues in some form to this day. With imagination and good will-and in the absence of other viable options-it is possible that such a model could be relevant for the much larger and diverse (and far more problematic) sacred space of Jerusalem, where a Status Quo-type arrangement could be established to identify zones of either Israeli control, Palestinian control, or (in some instances) joint control. Once identified, each political entity would have sovereignty over its own scattered neighborhoods and holy sites.




The need to share Jerusalem arises from the equally valid claims of sanctity by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all of whose holy writings contain references to the city and to the sacred events that happened there. Jews see Jerusalem as the city where Abraham went to sacrifice Issac; where David established his capital; where Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod built their temples; and where the Temple will one day be rebuilt. Christians see it as the city where Jesus taught, died, and was resurrected; where the first Christians congregated; and where Jesus one day will return. Muslims look to the city as the place from where Muhammad made his mystical nocturnal journey into heaven, as the "farthest place" toward which Muslims first were directed to pray, and as the place of final judgment. Common roots mean that the three religions often regard as holy the same people and events. Christians and Muslims share a common belief and respect for all the Hebrew prophets, and Muslims revere Jesus as a great prophet. Places associated with these people are holy to more than one religion. Complicating the situation is that holy sites are often the scene of more than one holy event.

The common ties have meant that for centuries the religious communities of Jerusalem have struggled either to maintain or to gain rights of worship at and control of certain sacred sites. Political conquests by Byzantine and Crusader Christians, Arab and Ottoman Muslims, and Israeli Jews have resulted in shifts of sovereignty. The Byzantines destroyed a Roman temple to build their Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Crusaders turned the Muslim Dome of the Rock into a church. The Arab conqueror Omar refrained from praying in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for fear that his followers would turn it into a mosque, although centuries later Muslims did build mosques at Christian holy sites commemorating the Ascension and the Last Supper. Georgian and Syrian Christians lost rights to several sites through their inability to pay Ottoman taxes, while the foreign funded and politically backed Roman Catholic (Latin) and Greek Orthodox churches gained from their loss. Throughout the centuries, control of the individual holy places changed hands many times. In the 1400s, for example, possession of Calvary changed hands between the Armenians and Georgians five times in a period of thirty years. During the Crusades, the Latins reigned supreme, whereas during Ottoman times the Greeks and Armenians, as subjects of the Sultan, gained significant rights with a 1757 firman (edict) granting the Greeks the majority of control in the disputed churches. France often came to the defense of Catholic interests in the holy places and was able to gain greater rights through various Capitulations from the Sultan, whereas Russia was often successful in promoting Greek claims.

Against this background, and in an attempt to resolve the problems of competing claims that had local and international ramifications, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid issued a firman on the holy places in 1852. The firman granted the various religious communities shared rights in the holy places, demarcating which areas came under whose control and establishing time schedules for officiating in areas shared by more than one religious group. These arrangements establishing possession of contested holy places came to be known as the Status Quo. [4] The name derives from the fact that the Sultan, thinking it would be too problematic to try to sort out the centuries-long string of firmans with their contradictory decrees, and not wanting to offend either Russia or the Catholic West by additional changes, decided to stick with current realities and establish the existing state, or status quo, as law. This meant that there would be no more changes in control of holy places and that the current system of sharing sacred space in a sense would be codified.

The Status Quo applied specifically to five sacred sites: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, its rooftop monastery of Dayr al-Sultan, the Sanctuary of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives, the Tomb of the Virgin in Gethsemane, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Over time additional holy sites such as the Western Wall, the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, the Cenacle on Mt. Zion, and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem also came to be included in an unofficial Status Quo in which ruling powers found it advantageous not to allow change in control for any of the holy sites. The Status Quo gained further legitimacy by being included in the 1856 Paris Peace Convention Treaty, the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty, and the British Mandate government's 1922 Palestine Order-in-Council. [5] 


To understand how the Status Quo works and to recognize how similar principles might be applied to Jerusalem today, it is necessary to look at how space is shared at the sacred sites of Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre-or the Church of the Resurrection, as it is called by Christian Arabs-includes within its enclosure the sites of both Calvary and the tomb of Jesus. The church's long history begins with Queen Helena identifying the site as that of both the crucifix- ion and resurrection; her son Constantine commemorated these events by building a Byzantine Basilica in A.D. 335. The original basilica was set fire by Persian invaders in 614, preserved by Arab invaders in 638, and then completely destroyed by the Fatimid ruler Hakim in 1009. The present-day church was completed by the Crusaders in 1049. At certain times, as many as ten different religious communities have shared the church, but since the issuance of the Status Quo, the Church has been shared by five religious communities. The Greek Orthodox, Armenians, and Roman Catholics (referred to locally as the Latins and represented by the Franciscans) are the three principal powers, with the Greek Orthodox controlling the greatest share; the Copts and Syrians (Jacobites) have more limited rights. The Abyssinians (Ethiopians) do not have rights within the church but are confined to the roof.

Common areas shared jointly by the Greeks, Latins, and Armenians include the parvis (the entrance courtyard), the entry (the keys of which long have been held by two neutral Muslim families), the south transept, the Stone of Unction, the rotunda, and the edicule which houses the tomb. In sharing these areas, each community is allowed to hang a certain number of lanterns, to post and light a certain number of candles, to cense, and to worship at certain times. Any changes to those areas held in common require the consent of all parties involved. When a fire destroyed the dome in 1810, the Greeks asserted their claim to repair the destruction. The Armenians and Latins protested, knowing that to repair or even clean a part of the church would give priority to and even suggest ownership by the Greeks. The dome had to be repaired by all three or by none at all.

Those areas controlled by a single community create an interesting pattern of scattered sovereignty. Calvary is divided into adjacent Greek and Latin chapels. The Armenians lost their rights to Calvary in the 1400s and were compensated with control of the opposite area, in what is known as the Armenian Gallery. The Armenians also control the Chapel of St. Helena, which is reached by descending stairs from the Greek-controlled ambulatory. Beyond this chapel and down an- other flight of stairs is the Latin-controlled Chapel of the Invention of the Cross. The Latins also control the Chapels of Mary Magdalene and the Apparition of the Virgin along with a Franciscan convent to the north of the rotunda. The Greeks control the central Katholikon, three chapels on the west side of the parvis, two of the small chapels along the ambulatory (the Armenians control the third), the chapel of Adam and offices underneath Greek and Latin Calvary, and most of the small storerooms surrounding the central rotunda. The lower gallery of the rotunda is divided between the Armenians in the south and the Latins in the north, with the higher gallery being controlled by the Greeks. The Copts possess a small chapel attached to the edicule from which pilgrims can reach in and touch the back side of the tomb. In addition, the Copts have control of several storerooms surrounding the rotunda.

Control of the Chapel of St. Nicodemus to the west of the edicule is disputed between the Syrians and Armenians. During Ottoman times, the Armenians were the official representative to the Sultan for other Eastern sects such as the Syrian Orthodox. The Syrians long had used the chapel, but the Armenians claim that they did so under the good graces of the Armenians, who were willing to allow their clients to use an Armenian chapel. Also in dispute is the north transept, or Seven Arches of the Virgin, which is claimed by both the Latins and Greeks. The Status Quo did not identify rights to these areas, so none of the claimant sects has been able to repair and furnish them.

The church is subject to a complex mosaic of control, but most visitors have no idea that it is so divided. No borders or lines of demarcation exist. The only way to know who controls which areas is to ask a priest, notice who worships where, look at a map, or identify lamps, candles, icons, and other decorations specific to each community. Religious leaders and pilgrims can move freely throughout the church. On holy days specific schedules coordinate very complex orders of procession and prayer. Tensions still exist, but relations are becoming more amicable. All concerned parties know their place and that nothing will change. This allows the religious communities to be more concerned with the daily cycles of worship than with losing territory or rights. Communities still keep watch on each other to make sure that the Status Quo is not violated, but only occasionally is there cause for concern.

Evidence of the growing cooperation is the joint Armenian, Greek, and Latin restoration of the dome of the rotunda and the recently completed decoration of its ceiling with a sun motif acceptable to the varying artistic traditions of the three communities sharing control of the dome. The agreement on the adornment of the dome was reached in 1994 with a historic signing by the Armenian and Greek Patriarchs and the Latin Custos of the Holy Land. Armenian Patriarch Manogian called the agreement "a turning point for all Christendom." He then stated that "the very fact that it was signed at all provides telling evidence of the new spirit of ecumenical rapprochement" in both the western and eastern Christian worlds. [6] 

The one area of the church that defies the peace of the Status Quo is the roof- top monastery known as Dayr al-Sultan, which encircles the dome of the Chapel of St. Helena. Possession of this area has a long history of dispute between the Egyptian Copts and the Abyssinians (Ethiopians). Like the client relationship be- tween the Armenians and Syrians, the Copts originally were designated by the Sultan to represent the Ethiopians, which means that Ethiopian and Coptic claims often overlap. Access to the monastery is through the Chapel of St. Michael, with its entrance from the parvis, up some stairs into the Chapel of the Four Living Creatures, and then out into the courtyard of Dayr al-Sultan. Other than a circuitous route through the markets of the Old City, this route is the only access between the Coptic Patriarchate, which lies just to the north of Dayr al-Sultan, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In 1838, a cholera epidemic nearly destroyed the Abyssinian community of Dayr al-Sultan. The Copts used this opportunity to reassert their claim by petitioning a sympathetic Ibrahim Pasha, ruling from Egypt, to grant them control. To solidify their claim, the Copts even resorted to burning "contaminated" documents which the Ethiopians used to justify their claim. [7] The Copts thus became the keeper of the keys to the chapels and to the monastery, whereas their Ethiopian guests, who never relinquished their claim to the lost chapels, were allowed only to live in the rooftop rooms and celebrate Easter services under a tent erected in the courtyard. This remained the situation for more than a century. Then during Easter 1970, the Ethiopians took advantage of strong ties between Israel and Ethiopia to reassert control. While the Coptic community celebrated Easter services in the main church, the Ethiopians changed the locks to the two disputed chapels. Israeli police were stationed around the monastery but did nothing to prevent the change. The Israeli courts first ruled in favor of the Copts, but then backed down and decided to take the matter under consideration, which means that the Ethiopians are still in control. [8] Since then, an angered Egyptian government has discouraged its Christians from making pilgrimages to Israel and says it will continue to do so until the Copts regain control of Dayr al-Sultan.

The Tomb of the Virgin at Gethsemane also falls under the regulations of the Status Quo. Here the Armenians and Greek Orthodox share joint control, whereas the Copts and Syrians possess rights only to hold services at the Armenian altars. The Latins at one time had exclusive possession of the church, but their claim was lost in the firman of 1757. The church and tomb are reached by descending a long stairway with several Orthodox altars along the way. The Armenians and the Greeks each have their own altars, whereas the altar at the tomb is shared jointly. As in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the placing of lamps, candles, and icons is regulated strictly.


Located atop the Mount of Olives, the Sanctuary of Ascension involves not only the various Christian communities, but also Muslims, who have long controlled the site. A small circular domed structure houses a footprint in stone where Jesus is believed to have stood before ascending into heaven. A mihrab (niche) on the southern wall indicates the direction of prayer to Mecca. Surrounding the shrine is a walled circular yard with several stone altars ready for services during the Feast of the Ascension when tents are pitched to shade the worshippers. The Status Quo allows for a Greek Orthodox stone altar behind the shrine with Armenian, Coptic, and Syrian stone altars against the wall of the enclosure. Adjacent to the shrine is a mosque.



Sharing the sacred space on Mt. Zion is a little more complex in that Muslims, Jews, and Christians all claim it as holy, particularly the structure housing David's tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. The upper room of the structure, known as the Cenacle (Greek for supper), traditionally has been celebrated by Christians as the site of the Last Supper, of the gathering at Pentecost, and of the first church. The building dates back to the Crusader period. In 1333, the King of Naples purchased the room from the Mamluk sultan of Egypt and then entrusted control to the Franciscans. In 1552, the Franciscans were ousted by the Muslims and the shrine was converted into the Mosque of the Prophet Da'ud on the basis of the tradition that the lower level housed the tomb of David. During the Jordanian control of the Old City, the Tomb of David rose in prominence among Jerusalem's Jews because Jordan denied them access to the Western Wall. Since the structure never was designated a part of the Status Quo, Israel's Ministry of Religious Affairs has assumed the ruling role as a "neutral agent." [9] During a 1995 visit to Mt. Zion, I observed Jews praying at the tomb of David while upstairs a group of Pentecostal pilgrims from Ohio were reveling in the spirit of the Upper Room complete with its mihrab in the wall pointing the way for prayers toward Mecca. Franciscans claim control of the building, but under the Status Quo the building remains a Muslim waqf, which is open to both Jewish and Christian visitors.

Muslims and Jews also compete for control of their most holy shrines in the city, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). The Western (or Wailing) Wall is part of the retaining wall built in 20 B.C. under the direction of King Herod to support the massive structures of the Temple Mount above. With the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, only the retaining wall remained. As the last remaining part of the sacred temple, the Western Wall then became Judaism's most holy site. However, Muslims also claim it as holy. It is here that the Prophet Muhammad tethered his winged steed Buraq before ascending from the Haram al-Sharif on his nocturnal journey into heaven. The wall itself and its surrounding area became a Muslim waqf. With time Muslim mi- grants from North Africa settled in waqf houses near the wall-hence the name "Maghrabi quarter." Jews were allowed to pray at the narrow corridor (4 x 28 meters) in front of the wall but not to modify or repair the wall, to bring in benches or chairs, or to blow the shofar (ram's horn) on holidays. Although the wall was not included formally in the Ottoman Status Quo, the British got involved in the issue because of nationalist conflicts at the wall during the Mandate, culminating in the violent riots of 1929 which in turn led to the appointment of a tripartite (Dutch, Swedish, and Swiss) commission of inquiry approved by the League of Nations. The commission's report, reaffirmed by Britain, ruled that "to the Moslems belong the sole ownership of, and the sole proprietary right to, the Western Wall" as waqf property but acknowledged the right of Jews to pray there. [10] 

This all changed in 1967 when, within days of Israel's capture of the Old City, the Arab Muslim residents of the Maghrabi quarter were expelled and their houses destroyed to make way for increased access to the wall and for the creation of a large plaza in front of the wall. Although Muslims still claim the land as waqf, the area now is administered by the State of Israel and serves as a central gathering place for both religious and nationalist functions.

The adjacent Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount also could have come under Israeli control in 1967, but the government withdrew and allowed the Islamic waqf to continue to administer Islam's third most holy site. Without the temple and with no sure knowledge of where the Holy of Holies is located, observant Jews showed less interest in the Mount than in the Wall. Some Jews still insist on their right to pray on the Mount, and others plan one day to rebuild the Temple on its site, but at present the Temple Mount remains under de facto Muslim administration, though Israel claims sovereign rights over it. The violence that erupted on 24 September 1996 with the completion of the Western Wall archaeological tunnel only serves to illustrate what happens when violations to the status quo occur.


This overview of shared sacred space in Jerusalem illustrates that disputed territory which often is intertwined and even multilayered can be shared. In the case of the Status Quo, outside rulers came in and demarcated territorial rights. The participating communities had no choice but to comply. Some communities still claim additional rights, such as the Franciscans to the Upper Room and the Copts to Dayr al-Sultan, but for the most part the communities have learned to cooperate and share, as has been the case in the restoration of the Holy Sepulchre's dome.

It must be said that literal application of the Status Quo model to the city of Jerusalem, of course, is not possible. There are obvious differences in context and scale between, on the one hand, regulating control over places of worship among sects of the same faith, and, on the other hand, trying to designate areas of sovereignty in a hotly contested interfaith city that is of great symbolic, religious, and political importance not only to its diverse residents, but to the world- wide Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. To this must be added the charged environment arising from the background of confrontation, conquest, occupation, expropriation, displacement, and restricted access. It is with an understanding of these problems that this solution is offered. It might be too wishful to think that it could work, but, while there is still a chance for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a solution for sharing Jerusalem, it is offered as a guide and source of inspiration for developing a more acceptable, and perhaps creative, resolution to an extraordinarily complex problem.

If Israel continues to maintain control over all the land of Israel/Palestine, of course, then there is no need to discuss sharing Jerusalem. But in anticipation of the day when there most likely will be some form of Palestinian entity in existence side-by-side with Israel, and knowing that both peoples claim the city as holy and as their capital, then somehow the two nations have to agree on how to share the city (see Map 2). Ideally, the Israelis and Palestinians should sit down and demarcate control, because they are the ones who best know the facts on the ground. Given the imbalance of power between the two parties, however, perhaps the United Nations or the United States could play the role of arbitrator, like the Ottomans did in the past.


map 2.png

As with the original Status Quo, this demarcation should be based on current realities and not on past possession: If issues of past possession are considered, then there never will be resolution. Centuries of alternating control means that both sides lay claim to the same territory and base their justification on different times in history.

Not looking back means that Palestinians, who until 1948 lived in the neighborhoods and villages that now make up West Jerusalem, will lose their right to have those lands returned (prior to 1948, 40 percent of West Jerusalem lands were owned privately by Palestinian Arabs). Similarly, they will lose the lands they very recently owned on which the new Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem have been built and which will remain under Israeli sovereignty. [11] This is very hard medicine for the Palestinians, who have lost so much; however, just as competing claims resulted in centuries of conflict over the holy places, so continuing to claim rights to lands already lost only will perpetuate the conflict. In a gesture of good will, Israel perhaps could be induced to withdraw control of several East Jerusalem neighborhoods, particularly those like Ma'ale Adumim or Neveh Ya'akov and Pisgat Ze'ev, which are more isolated from Jewish West Jerusalem. This would make scattered sovereignty a little less scattered, and the homes and apartments could be offered as compensation to Arabs who lost homes in West Jerusalem or lands in East Jerusalem.

The bitter medicine for the Jews is that they will have to halt all further building on Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem, give up the dream of a united eternal Jerusalem as their capital, and accept the fact that the Temple Mount will remain under Arab control. Jews should be allowed access to the Temple Mount as visitors or as individual pilgrims, but the holding of religious services or prayers must remain restricted until such a time as Muslim authorities may wish to designate otherwise. In addition, the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be prevented from any future expansion on surrounding Arab lands.

Demarcation of territory does not mean limiting access to others. Border controls would exist upon exit from the city, meaning that residents of both Palestine and Israel freely could enter the city. Within the city, Israelis could come and go through Palestinian Arab lands with free access and vice versa. Jews from Mea Shearim could continue to walk through the Muslim quarter to get to the Western Wall. Likewise, Muslim and Christian Arabs would be free to shop in Jerusalem's malls or to attend sporting and cultural events in the stadiums and concert halls of West Jerusalem. Jews currently living in the Arab neighborhoods of the city would be free to remain in their homes only if they are willing to live under Palestinian sovereignty. Likewise, Palestinians would be allowed to buy and rent homes in Israeli-controlled areas if they are willing to submit to Israeli rule.

While free access is guaranteed, Israel will be the sovereign power over its parcels and the Palestinians over theirs. In the churches, controlling powers alone have the rights to officiate in services, to repair, and to decorate. In the city, Palestinian laws would prevail in their sectors and Israeli laws in theirs. Some form of umbrella board of governance would be needed to sort out difficulties and to cooperate in sharing such things as utilities, municipal services, and tourism promotion.

Some sectors of the city, like the walled Old City or the airport and industrial zone, even may require joint rule. In these sectors all laws and changes would require approval by both parties. Such a system might delay action, but at least when action is taken it will be acceptable to both parties.

In many ways the idea of a Status Quo for Jerusalem only confirms what already exists-a segregated city. Arabs and Jews live in neighboring quarters but have little interaction. It is as if they live in separate spheres or on two separate planes that never intersect. If this current system of segregation could be codified into a status quo agreement of shared sovereignty, then the two peoples would be better able to concern themselves with living regular lives in a situation of peace. Palestinians could raise their flag, regulate their schools, issue building permits, and post police on street corners in their neighborhoods, and Israelis could do the same thing in the territory they control. Control of the city should not be an "either-or" situation. Like its sacred sites, Jerusalem can be shared by all who claim it holy.


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CHAD F. EMMETT is assistant professor of geography at Brigham Young University.

1. For an overview of many of these proposals, see Gershon Baskin's Jerusalem of Peace (Jerusalem: Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, 1994) and chapter 7 in Meron Benvenisti's City of Stone. The Hidden History ofJerusalem (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

2. Maher Abukhater, "Jerusalem Can Remain United But Should Be Shared," al Fajr, 12 March 1990.

3. Mark A. Heller and Sari Nusseibeh, No Trumpets, No Drums. A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (New York: Hill and Wang, 1991), p. 121. See also Nusseibeh's comments in Jerusalem. Visions of Reconciliation (Proceedings of the United Nations Department of Public Information's Encounter for Greek Journalists on the Question of Palestine, 27-28 April 1993, Athens, Greece).

4. A detailed description of the Status Quo can be found in L. G. A. Cust, The Status Quo in the Holy Places (Jerusalem: Ariel Publishing House, 1980).

5. Kevork Hintlian, History of the Armenians in the Holy Land (Jerusalem: Armenian Patriarchate Printing Press, 1989).

6. "Christian Leaders' Accord on Sepulcher Decoration Hailed as 'Turning Point,"' Christians and Israel 4, no. 2 (Spring 1995), p. 3.

7. Kirsten Pedersen, "Deir Es-Sultan: The Ethiopian Monastery in Jerusalem," Quaderni di Studi Etiopici (Asmara 1987-1988), p. 40.

8. Alan Elsner, "Room at the Top," Jerusalem Post, 24 November 1978.

9. Abraham Rabinovich, "New Era on Mount Zion," Jerusalem Post, 6 June 1986; Haim Shapiro, "Silence Rules the Cenacle" Jerusalem Post, 30 May 1986.

10. Report of the Commission appointed by His Majesty's Government ... to determine the rights and claims of Moslems and Jews in connection with the Western or Wailing Wall at Jerusalem, December 1930 (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1931).

11. Israeli control should not be extended to any new settlements (such as the controversial new settlement of Har Homa) or additions to existing settlements built since the Oslo peace accords.