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Sharing Jerusalem: the condominium solution by John V. Whitbeck - Common Ground News Service
Israelis concerned about their future might well look back at the vision for Jerusalem of Theodor Herzl, the founding father of Zionism: "We'll simply extraterritorialize Jerusalem, which will then belong to nobody and yet to everybody, the holy place common to the adherents of all faiths, the great condominium of culture and morality." Herzl's dream of a Jewish State was wildly impractical at the time, but it existed half a century later. Whether its people ever enjoy peace and security may well depend on whether they can grasp the visionary practicality of Herzl's own recognition that what neither people of the Holy Land could ever relinquish or renounce must therefore be shared.

President Yasser Arafat clearly recognized this principle when, in a speech delivered at Harvard University in 1995, he asked: " Why not Jerusalem as the capital of two states, with no Berlin Wall? United, open, coexistence, living together." The audience rose for a standing ovation.

If Herzl and Arafat could agree on the potential of the "condominium" solution, shouldn't this potential key to peace be explored and developed by those who still believe that peace is possible and who recognize that it is urgent?

This is the road I am going down.

A Jerusalem Partnership as a Condominium is one thing; an Israel Partnership covering all Israel, Gaza, West Bank etc is quite another.

The land would be held in perpetuity in the Joint Ownership of a "Custodian" entity.

Then within an "Open Corporate" partnership-based consensual protocol the bundle of rights of occupation, and the fruits of occupation, are shared by mutual agreement.

One of the desirable side effects is that there would be no further private freehold ownership or mortgage finance possible.

I don't know enough about Judaism to know whether or not it is (or was) believed (as it is under Islam) that absolute ownership of Land is God's alone?


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 07:09:43 AM EST

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