By Yisrael Medad, Algemeiner—
Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent speech on Israel contained a potentially dangerous element that has eluded the attention of many, including the speech’s detractors.
Kerry’s vision of peace seems fairly straightforward. Jerusalem will be “the internationally recognized capital of the two states,” and “freedom of access to the holy sites consistent with the established status quo” will be assured.
Kerry said that this phrasing repeated previous declarations about the city’s future. But by adding the words “internationally recognized,” Kerry has tried to seriously damage Israel.
American Jewish Congress president Jack Rosen was right when he said that Security Council Resolution 2334 “systematically removes Israel’s sovereignty over east Jerusalem, which contains both Judaism’s and Christianity’s holy sites”.
But Kerry was intimating something else, and it is in this section:
Jerusalem is the most sensitive issue for both sides, and the solution will have to meet the needs not only of the parties, but of all three monotheistic faiths…the holy sites that are sacred to billions of people around the world must be protected and remain accessible and the established status quo maintained.
By saying that the solution for Jerusalem “needs not only of the parties, but of all three monotheistic faiths,” Kerry set the stage for the resurrection of the infamous “Special International Regime.” This idea was first outlined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, Part 1; it would place Jerusalem “under a special international regime shall be administered by the United Nations.”
So what would happen if Kerry’s vision came to pass?
First, control of Jerusalem would be stripped away from Israel. Second, the city would become a shared capital for two states (one Palestinian, one Jewish). Finally, access to the religious sites in this area would be contingent on the agreement of all three religions, and, of course, a new “Quartet” supervisory body would be created to oversee the agreement
We should recall that back on September 24, 2010, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert published an article that promoted this idea. One of his aides said that the proposal “would represent a maintenance of the status quo, but under international trusteeship.”
The problem is that Israel is the underdog on the issue of religious sites, and has always been forced to surrender its rights.
For example, here is what Secretary Kerry said in Jordan on October 24, 2015: “Netanyahu has reaffirmed Israel’s commitment…that it is Muslims who pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and non-Muslims who visit.”
Kerry wants to not only wrench all of Jerusalem from Israel’s control, but to submit Judaism’s religiously historical sites to a non-Israeli body. We cannot allow this to happen.
Yisrael Medad is roving editor-at-large for Israel Affairs at The Algemeiner.