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PEACE: Foreign Policy & Terrorism | November 19, 1997



An Unpublished Letter to Los Angeles Times

I believe that the Middle East peace process has slowed not because of all the bad blood and bloodshed that has come before but mostly because of what lies ahead -- resolving the question of who will control Jerusalem -- an issue so thorny that even in the most heady days of the peace process the best that could be done was to agree to disagree and to shelve the issue until a later date...namely, now. I would like to suggest a solution, which (perhaps in my ignorance) I have not heard before.

Because the city of Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike and has been fought over not just in recent years but by crusaders of one faith or another down through the millennia and because it always will be a uniquely sacred city to half the world's population and an invaluable archaeological treasure to all of humankind, I propose that Jerusalem be made a United Nations Protectorate, safeguarded by and open to all the citizens of the world.

If the State of Israel wishes to maintain its political capital in Jerusalem, so be it. If the Palestinian Authority wishes to establish an official presence there as well, so be it. If any political, religious, or cultural entity whatsoever wishes to conduct its affairs in the city, peaceably, so be it.

Jerusalem does not belong exclusively to the Jews or the Muslims or the Christians. It rightfully belongs to all God's children, all of whom the U.N. was established to protect. Jerusalem should be made a U.N. Protectorate.

Will any of my Christian, Jewish, or Islamic brothers or sisters second my motion?

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