Jerusalem, perhaps the world’s most contested capital, is indeed a tale of two cities. In fact, it is a city that frequently resembles parallel universes.
While ideologues and politicians endlessly bicker over rightful sovereignty, a simple truth remains: Based on any meaningful metric, the “united model” of the capital upheld since the 1967 Six Day War has abjectly failed.
It has failed to keep Jewish women and children on the Western side safe from Arab killers living in the east – killers who are indoctrinated at birth into a profoundly hateful culture that celebrates death the way Jews are taught to celebrate life – and it is no longer tenable, or sustainable.
As the past six months of brazen and unconscionable violence carried out by terrorists as young as 11 – children who are rewarded with acclaim by their families and society – has proven, these two radically opposed ideologies simply cannot coexist in a shared environment.
It is the equivalent of mixing milk and battery acid.
There is no question that the vast majority of Palestinians living in east Jerusalem are peaceful and want the bloodshed to stop as much as their Jewish counterparts. However, they have unequivocally failed to meaningfully repudiate the celebrated murderers among them.
From Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to clerics, parents, and grade-school educators in Arab schools who refuse to condemn the barbaric violence, the silence is deafening, if not horrific.
Opposition leader and Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog’s call to finally divide the city into Arab and Jewish halves has logically been met with derision from right-wing parties, particularly Likud leaders, who claim that division is tantamount to “capitulation to terrorism.”
However, such reductive reasoning is the equivalent of being “dead right” – i.e. correct, but self-damaging.
In the final analysis, one must ask a couple of important questions: Is it capitulation to quarantine predators that will stop at nothing to kill their vulnerable prey? Is it capitulation to save innocent lives?
A true pragmatist does not make decisions based on ideals or emotion – he or she makes them based on reality; on facts on the ground.
And when these irrefutable facts are endlessly challenged, Albert Einstein’s maxim on the definition of insanity proves itself time and again: repeating the same process over and over, but expecting a different outcome.
Based on tangible evidence, it is time to replace wishful thinking – or even being “right” – with the scientific method.
As the Jerusalem reporter for this paper I have seen multiple murder scenes that belong in pulp fiction novels, not the holiest city in the world. I have walked the streets and seen young Arab men and children with incandescent rage in their eyes.
I have written too many stories about women and children being knifed or shot to death for the crime of being Jewish.
You can categorize what is happening in Jerusalem as a “third intifada” or a “war,” but the bottom line is that innocent people are being killed in our midst by children with relative legal immunity who are being cynically used as pawns by elders who were supposed to teach them to value all life.
In terms of the human rights groups around the globe that will undoubtedly deem a separation of Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem as "apartheid" or a “crime against humanity,” I would ask whose humanity they are referring to?
Is it apartheid or a crime against humanity to protect one group of people from another group that refuses to accept they have a right to exist? A group that teaches and encourages its impressionable children at home, in mosques, and in classrooms that murdering a Jew, and dying in the process, will send them to heaven and bring their families great pride?
If dividing the city will save just one more Jewish life from being senselessly targeted by unimaginable predators who believe his or her own violent death will bring them salvation, then how, in good conscience, can one not allow that to happen?
Ultimately, the only presently viable means of stopping more innocent Jewish blood from spilling on Jerusalem’s streets is to divide it from an enemy that has dehumanized the Jewish people to such depths that they view their blood as worthless.
Those on the Right will argue that dividing the capital is futile because no matter what is offered to Palestinian terrorists, it will never be enough. That it is not about land or compromise, but rather the destruction of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. That they will continue to kill Jews no matter what.
They are absolutely correct.
However, if a fence and heavily armed checkpoints will make it exponentially more difficult for them to kill – as Gaza and the West Bank have proven – then why can’t that logic be applied to Jerusalem, the holy of the holies itself?
Indeed, if the Talmud is correct and “whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world” and “whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world,” then perhaps it’s time to divide these worlds once and for all.
In the meantime, if preventing one more Jewish death at the hands of terrorists who are free to roam among them is capitulation, so be it.
This is not weakness. It's strength.
When is enough enough?
How many more children and women need to be slaughtered? How many more funerals need to take place? How much more blood needs to be spilled on these streets?
Until a better proposal than separation is offered, it is wiser to be pragmatic than “dead right.”