Regardless of how the current and future violent conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem will end, there will be no Israeli-Palestinian peace unless East Jerusalem becomes the capital of a Palestinian state while the city remains united. Thus, a long-term solution is necessary to ensure that Jerusalem does not continue to be a flashpoint for violence; there is a way whereby both sides can live in a united city and make it a microcosm for peaceful coexistence.
The flare-up that recently engulfed East Jerusalem should surprise no one. The status quo could never be sustained; the Palestinians’ resentment of the occupation was only deepening and any incident could have precipitated a violent outbreak. This time it was the order to evict six families from the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, this became symptomatic of Israel’s much wider scheme of ethnic cleansing to make more room for Jewish settlers and thereby “Judaise” East Jerusalem, which Israel views as an integral part of its capital. Israel may hold onto East Jerusalem for another 54 years, but the Palestinians, and for that matter the Arab states, will never give up on their claim to East Jerusalem.
While we can find temporary solutions for the current violence, then what? A long-term solution is necessary to ensure that Jerusalem does not continue on its path as a flashpoint city for violence. That said, there is a way whereby both sides can live in a united city and make it a microcosm for peaceful coexistence.