Let Jerusalem be a united city, open to all

Zeev Raphael, Haifa

The Crux of the Problem As a longtime resident of Safed, the anti- Arab ruling of Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu “High in the Hills” (January 17) has annoyed and angered not only non-religious, but also religious residents, who have demanded that he be fired from his job. Up till now both Arabs and Jews have been working and living together side by side in this town without any problems.
The crux of the problem lies in the influx of newly religious haredi families trying to find cheap accommodation, living on very low income (welfare) and not contributing anything to the economy. Perhaps the rabbis should issue a ruling that the men should study and also go out to work and bring in a respectable income.Cynthia Wynne Safed
Ultra-Orthodox Indian Jews Maina Singh’s research about Israeli Jews of Indian origin in “Charting the Indian Aliya” (December 20) was most interesting. It is strange that she did not come across ultra- Orthodox Indian Jews. If she stayed longer and moved in wider circles, she would have found a sizable number. The most renowned is Rabbi Hacham Yaakov Hillel, who is the head of Ahavat Shalom Yeshiva in Jerusalem.Joan Hillel Ramat Hasharon
No Precedent Rather than Reiter and Lehrs researching the history of 1948 Jerusalem as the basis for their claims that Jewish settlement in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood undermines the “peace process,” (“Back to the Future of 1948,” January 3), why do they not undertake research regarding what Jerusalem with Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian sovereignty is really supposed to look like and, more importantly, function.
Despite the fact that there is no precedent for such a city under divided control anywhere else in the world, why on earth would a few Jewish inhabitants make a difference whether the area is called Shimon Hatzadik or Sheikh Jarrah? Peter Simpson Jerusalem
Herzl’s Plan for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s plans for an undivided Jerusalem for all its residents, Jews as well as Arabs (“Master Planner,” December 20), warrant serious thought and consideration.
It may come as a surprise to some that, allowing for today’s changed circumstances, this is not very different from what Herzl had in mind for the city: “We shall exterritorialize Jerusalem, so that it will belong to nobody and yet everybody; and with it the Holy Places, which will become the joint possession of all Believers – a great condominium of culture and morality.” (“The Diaries of Theodor Herzl,” Gollanz, London 1958).
Our decision-makers might bear this in mind when – hopefully soon – negotiations with the Palestinians will resume. Translated into today’s language, Herzl’s vision may be expressed thus: Let Jerusalem be a united city, open to all and belonging to all its inhabitants. Let Jerusalem be the capital of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. Let us turn Jerusalem into a modern symbol of Peace, without walls or barbed wire.
Within the context of a peace deal with the Palestinians this would be a small price to pay in exchange for full diplomatic and normal relations with 57 Arab and Muslim countries – as proposed in the Arab Peace Initiative.Zeev Raphael Haifa