Yerushalayim and al-Quds: Political Catechism and Political Realities

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VOL. 30


No. 1
P. 5
Yerushalayim and al-Quds: Political Catechism and Political Realities

Israel's insistent portrayal of "Yerushalayim" as "united and indivisible" and as encompassing not only all of Arab al-Quds but vast surrounding areas had a crucial political purpose: to block any negotiated settlement with the Palestinians by creating a taboo against even discussing any separation. The campaign was successful in some ways but ultimately failed as a hegemonic project. This failure is reflected in the Barak government's willingness to reimagine the city's future. This article examines four misconceptions about Israeli attitudes toward Jerusalem and its status in Israeli law. In so doing, it documents the potential for Israeli flexibility on the issue.

lan S. Lustick is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a number of books, including Unsettled States, Disputed lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993).