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Jerusalem

December 31, 2017

In his uniquely inane way Donald Trump has caused a furore about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

 

While much (well almost everything) about Trump disturbs me dreadfully, this move may not be as awful it seems.

 

Of course, if the world is still looking at a two state solution to the Holy Land, it is a disaster.  24 hours into a week-long visit to Israel in January of this year, I was convinced that a two state solution will never work.  Two state solutions have never worked.

 

I grew up in apartheid South Africa.  The word, significantly, rhymes with hate, not light.  How else would one have the joke about the Indian man sitting minding his own business on a bench on a Durban beach when he is approached by a white man who says "You can't sit here."  (Remember that segregation forbade 'non-whites" from using "while" facilities).  Why not asked the Indian.  Apartheid, says the whitey, apartheid.  The Indian looks at his watch and says, in his native accent, No, apart nine.   (Half past nine)

 

Only funny if you've been there.

 

But.

 

South Africa in the early 90s faced an existential crisis.  How do you get from a situation of extreme racial and economic division to one of nominal agreement? The world expected a bloodbath during the transition from Nationalist rule to majority rule.  It didn't happen.

 

This was in large part due to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which challenged the country to find ways to move forward without bloodshed. Israel could do the same.

 

There is only one solution to the Holy Land.  One country. No borders.  Jerusalem as the capital.

Perhaps one calls the country Canaan.  Perhaps one calls it Judea.  Whatever name it has, it has to be home to anyone who wants to live there.  It has happened before; it can happen again.

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