Last week, in peculiar proximity to Israel’s Jerusalem Day celebrations, it became known that the United Nations is working intensely with the Palestinian Authority and a Jordanian architectural design company to establish eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state by 2030, drawing up “elaborate plans for the expropriation of Israeli land.”
The plan, built by UN-HABITAT, the United Nations programme for human settlements, the International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC), a Palestinian urban planning and development organization, and Arabtech Jardaneh, an engineering and architectural design firm, aims to “see parts of the Oslo Accords appealed.” It also envisions Jerusalem as “the Capital of the State of Palestine, its beating heart, and its foremost metropolitan area,” and has drawn up “elaborate plans for the expropriation of Israeli land for the project.”
While it is unsettling for Israeli ears to hear such news, we should not be surprised. As I have written and stated multiple times, the UN, which represents the nations of the world, does not want us here. It regrets its 1947 decision to divide the land between Jews and Arabs, and would like to see Israel wiped off the map.
We should not be surprised that this is happening since we ourselves are making it happen. There is a very simple formula for the acceptance of the Jewish people among the nations: When we unite with our enemies, they unite against us; when we unite with each other, our enemies unite with us.
Jerusalem should be the spiritual center of the Jewish people. In other words, it should be a powerhouse of unity, a model of solidarity and cohesion for the whole world.
The Hebrew name of Jerusalem is Yerushalayim, from the words Ir Shlema, city of wholeness. This is the place where all the conflicting forces of the world should complement one another and benefit from each other rather than try to destroy one another. Currently, the conflicts are there, but complementarity is nowhere in sight. This is why the city is so full of strife, conflicts, and violence, and why the nations vie over it.
We should not expect peace to prevail in Jerusalem until we make peace among ourselves. We are the ones who have been commanded to unite “as one man with one heart” and thus become “a light to the nations.” We are the ones who gave the world the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and we are the ones who are expected to demonstrate it. This is the meaning of being a light to the nations.
After World War II, the nations decided that we deserved another chance and voted to establish a Jewish state in the historic land of Israel. On the surface, the decision was motivated primarily by the horrors of the Holocaust, but behind it was the expectation that we would also return to our calling.
But we have not returned to our calling to be a light of unity to the nations. Since our return, we have demonstrated division, hatred, collusion with enemies against our own people, and hatred among factions of the Jewish society. We have let down humanity.
The only way we can remain in our historic land is by returning to our historic mission to be a beacon of unity to the world. When we recognize the sovereignty of love for one another over us, the world will recognize our sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 24, 2022. Palestinian President Office (PPO)/Handout via REUTERS