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More about the division, um, maybe

by michael February 14 2008
Municipal news

As Jerusalemite mentioned yesterday, the hottest of hot button issues, the division of Jerusalem between Israel and a future Palestinian state, may or may not currently be on the table. Reports vary wildly. While the government insists that no negotiations concerning the division of the city are taking place - perhaps to placate elements of the coalition who view the division as anathema - several Palestinians have insisted negotiations are ongoing, and today mayoral candidate and political maverick Nir Barkat joined their number, and one-upped them by claiming the division had already been settled.

Earlier Wednesday, Jerusalem's Municipal Board opposition leader Nir Bareket said that Vice Premier Haim Ramon and Fatah-linked Palestinian businessman Mohammed Rashid had agreed amongst themselves how Jerusalem should be divided, as part of secret talks the two have been conducting.

Bareket maintained that he had been informed of these secret talks by senior political and security officials.

Jerusalemite has to ask: are Haim Ramon and Mohammed Rashid important enough to be having secret talks about anything more politically vital than the weather?

Barkat also accused Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of lying to the public and covering up the negotiations, an allegation to which ol' Tzipi responded somewhat, shall we say, gracelessly.

Livni on Wednesday refused to respond to Bareket's remarks directly.

However, in a letter addressed to the Jerusalem opposition leader, Livni wrote "the Israeli and Palestinian negotiations are being conducted in agreement between the two sides, and until everything is agreed upon, nothing will be agreed upon, and the content [of the negotiations] is likewise not aimed for the public."

Jerusalemite continues to ask why the content of the negotiations is not aimed for the public. It is the public's concern more than anyone else's. Let all Jerusalemites of all ethnicities and religions be aware of, and have a say in, the fate of their city.

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