TWO PROPOSALS LAID FOR GOVERNANCE OF JERUSALEM by: Faith Emerene S. Alarde

The ambiguity of the state of Jerusalem as to whether it is internationally governed, is continually hindering the progress of peace between Palestine and Israel. The peace accord between the two nations grow tenuous as Israel blatantly continues to violate international law through Jewish settlement projects in their annexed part of Eastern Jerusalem. Properly defining the role of Jerusalem is crucial towards reaching a peaceful relationship between the Muslim and Jewish communities.

In the YMUN committee of the Oslo Accords, delegates of Palestine, Israel, and Norway all convened to discuss the fragile peace and the animosity between the nations of Palestine and Israel. The convention discussed the pressing need for a better solution than that of international governance. Delegate Joel Peter who is representing the Palestinian Jibril Rajoub states that Jerusalem working under corpus separatum is no longer feasible: it “has not worked in the past and I believe that the more we are discussing the more we see that we are Incompatible”.

Two proposals were introduced: The JEW Plan or the “Jerusalem Expels War” Plan aims to unite both sides of Palestine and Israel and to promote a healthy collaboration, involve international mediators such as Norway, which can remain independent and objective to the internal conflict. The JEW plan also stresses that Israel should oversee security within the region and especially at holy sites in the city. A second proposal is called the JAF Plan or the “Jerusalem for All Faith” which generally highlights the same things as the JEW plan, and in place of a country as an international mediator, the plan considers the UN to be auxiliary support in monitoring the actions of both Palestine and Israel.

JEW also puts emphasis in the opposition of religious segregation among its concerns is that Israel heading security in holy sites compromises the equality of the expression of faith. Peace accords between Palestine and Israel have always been taut with tension which results to the peace being cut short. Therefore, both proposals have incorporated a third party into their plans so that transparency, accountability and effectiveness in the pioneers of JEW and JAF is ensured.

Delegate Rachel Weiss, representing Israeli Yossi Beilin on establishing peace between Israelis and Palestinians: “we are trying to implement this idea of a neutral task force which would either include people from Norway which is the mediating body of the Oslo Accords or from people who have neutral stances who are either Israeli or Palestinian so that they would come together on the task force and slowly phase them out once they see that Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist equally.” Jerusalem is the promise land to some of the strongest and oldest religions in the world.

Ultimately, Jerusalem pacifies the dissonance between Muslims and Jews most especially, and therefore is quintessential in keeping the peace between Palestine and Israel.