The Centrality of Jerusalem to an End of Conflict Agreement

More than any other issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Jerusalem has deep resonance for all the parties. Certainly, there will be no end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, no Arab-Israeli reconciliation, and no normalization of the situation of Israel in the region without a lasting solution for Jerusalem. For a solution to be seen by all parties as satisfying, it must accomplish three things: it must allow Palestinians and Israelis to share the city equitably; it must allow Jerusalem to be the capital of both Palestine and Israel; and it must allow people of all faiths to have free and unimpeded access to Jerusalem.

Rashid Khalidi is president of the American Committee on Jerusalem and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago. This essay is based on an address given to the National Association of Arab Americans-American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee symposium at the National Press Club in Washington on 9 February 2001.

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