European Union foreign ministers called for making Jerusalem the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state as part of a negotiated peace plan. The statement marked a compromise after Israel objected to a Swedish proposal identifying East Jerusalem, which Israel seized in the 1967 war, as the Palestinian capital. Palestinians welcomed the final statement, but Israel said it was "nothing new." Is sharing Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its eternal capital, the key to jump-starting peace negotiations? (Watch a report about the European Union's suggestion of a shared Jerusalem)
Sharing Jerusalem is not a new idea: The Swedish proposal was obviously unacceptable to Israel, says Herb Keinon in The Jerusalem Post. If the future Palestinian state is to comprise the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, "what is left to negotiate?" The watered-down version merely says genuine peace requires resolving Jerusalem's status, which is "something that has been said a million times."
"Analysis: Israel dodges EU bullet"
Jerusalem is already shared—let's make it official: "Let's admit it to ourselves," says Gershon Baskin in Palestine Note. "We, as Israelis, don't really care about the Palestinian parts of Jerusalem." The city is already segregated, and Israel provides inferior services in Palestinian neighborhoods. "Recognizing that Jerusalem is two cities is the first step to making peace with the Palestinians and the Arabs."
"Jerusalem: the capital of two states for two peoples"
The EU was evenhanded. That alone is an achievement: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Palestinians now have new hope of recovering territories Israel occupied in 1967, says John Lyons in The Australian, and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was pleased that the EU foreign ministers rejected the "rash, one-sided" Swedish proposal. So both sides found "something to be pleased with"—that alone "was a rare accomplishment for the EU."
"Both sides hail EU Jerusalem solution"