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Tuesday, November 27 2007

Revisiting Resolution 181

JlemThis week happens to be the 60th anniversary of the UN resolution 181 which partitioned the holy land between Jews and Arabs, leaving Jerusalem under the UN's authority.

The Guardian's Ian Black points out that the city's designation as a corpus separatum undermines Palestinian claims on the capitol:

Jerusalem, in a decision worthy of the setting for Pontius Pilate's famous manual ablutions, was to belong to neither. It was to become a "corpus separatum" under UN direction - which is why today, except for a few banana republics, no country in the world, not even the US, will build an embassy there, or recognise it as Israel's capital, eternal or otherwise. Indeed, it is a telling argument against Palestinian claims to the city as its capital - but for obvious reasons it is not one that Israel and its supporters are likely to make.

Food for thought: The official map of what would have been the UN's Jerusalem district includes the areas of Bethlehem, Maale Adumim, Motza, Shuafat and beyond, far surpassing anything Israelis or Palestinians would now define as "Greater Jerusalem."



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On the other hand, Resolution 181 was a long time ago. Since then then, East Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan, all Jewish sites were desecrated and Jews denied entry. "The world" said nothing.

Under Israeli rule, Muslims have retained control over Al Aqsa. It seems 181 needs to be superseded given the history since that time.

Just because most of the world is too feckless to defy the muslim world and place their embassy's in Jerusalem does not therefore make Israel's rightful claims to the city less legitimate. Those few "banana republics" have more courage than all of the western powers combined.

N.B.: 181 was a General Assembly resolution. As such, it never had any legal authority.

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