Jerusalem is our Future


Álvaro Vasconcelos

The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in violation of the decisions of the United Nations, is an attack against a city that, more than any other, is a world city.
In 2000 in Ramallah, Faisal Husseini, the late PLO leader,in a EuroMeSCo seminar, declared that Jerusalem should be an open city, with a municipality run jointly by Israelis and Palestinians. Faisal Husseini explained that in a city that is home to the sacred sites of more than 2 billion inhabitants of the world – the ruins of the Temple of Solomon, the Mosque of Al-Aqsa or the Holy Sepulchre – only a shared management would guarantee peace and the free access of all.

Jerusalem is much more than a geographical reference, it is a symbol of the millennial coexistence between the three great monotheistic religions, in all its declinations, is multiculturalism made world, the Tower of Babel as a “realizable Utopia” to use Paul Ricoeur formula .
What is truly fascinating when you walk in the old city is to see how despite the wars, the brutal tensions of successive waves of terror, of Israelis against the British, of Palestinians against Israelis, of Israelis against Palestinians, Jerusalem continued to be a place of spiritual meditation and no one dared to close it to either religion.
Those who thought that Trump was merely a businessman of no ideology, subject to the moods of his ego, and that the exercise of power would moderate him, were deceived. Trump is a reactionary politician who hates multicultural coexistence and everything that Jerusalem should represent. Its inspiration is the American white supremacist movements and evangelical fundamentalism that considers that the Jews have a sacred right to all Jerusalem. Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies of the Israeli far right have exactly the same perspective of Jerusalem and warmly welcome Trump’s anti-Muslim view.
It is not by chance that Trump’s allies are, in addition to the Israeli government, the most reactionary currents in the Middle East, from King Salman of Saudi Arabia to the dictator Sisi of Egypt, with whom Trump has built an alliance against Iran, of which Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon are already victims.
That it is possible to confront with success the Trump-Saudi coalition, it proved by Emmanuel Macron that was able to deconstruct the Saudi conspiracy against Lebanon, guaranteeing Hariri’s return to Beirut and cohabitation with Hezbollah.
The European Union should draw on this experience to lead an international initiative to ensure compliance with United Nations resolutions on Jerusalem, in particular the Security Council resolution of December 2016 , that “Underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties
through negotiations”. With the Security Council blocked by the American veto, it should appeal to the General Assembly of the United Nations. But there are divisions in Europe too – the Czech Republic has followed in Trump’s footsteps and a meaningful common position of the 27 is impossible . The best chance are the EU members of the Security Council: France and the United Kingdom, despite Brexit, Italy and Sweden (non-permanent members) who have already issued a joint statement condemning the American position. Turkey should be associated with this policy from the beginning as well Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia,Algeria and Morocco.
Is all this wishful thinking? Perhaps, but with the likelihood of a full-scale war in the Middle East, with the impact that this might have on Europe, perhaps the leaders of the States of the Union should remember their responsibilities for the security of those who elected them, and above all that Europe is made of a number of multicultural cities like Jerusalem and that the end of this city may also be the end of the peaceful coexistence of those who live in Europe. Jerusalem is our future.

Autor: Álvaro Vasconcelos

Investigador CEIS20 Universidade de Coimbra; Diretor IEEI (1980-2007), Diretor Instituto de Estudos de Segurança da União Europeia(2007-2012), Professor colaborador do Instituto de Relações Internacionais da Universidade de São Paulo

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