Letter to Mrs. Mogherini: Jerusalem cannot be the capital of two states

Marianne Ranke-Cormier - 20/11/2014

Dear Mrs Mogherini,

You recently announced your support for the recognition of a Palestinian State, having EastJerusalem as its capital city.

The recognition of the reality of a possible Palestinian State is a proposal that we have long supported, so we wish to openly applaud you for this firm stance which calls for the EU Member States to join it right away. We must now ensure that this request, already supported by your predecessor, Mrs. Ashton, becomes a requirement. Yet, we cannot support your position on a future separation of Jerusalem, for that is exactly what it means when you plead for the East Jerusalem capital of the Palestinian State. We truly hope that you, as head of the European diplomacy, have considered the consequences of such a stance, because the immediate reaction of the Israeli government was to vote on the recognition of the annexation of the Cis Jordan located colonies.

Notwithstanding that this decision does not belong to us, Europeans, a possible division of Jerusalem can turn into a new source for future conflicts.

Jerusalem is anything but a neutral city. It is in essence the open conflict between two nations, each of them claiming the whole city for themselves. Here, I would dare remind you that we, as Europeans, already tried that 50 years ago, when we chose two European capitals, two cities which at that time represented a necessary neutrality in the early moments of our European construction process.

A partition of Jerusalem does not seem possible, Otherwise, it would become the "fireplace" of new conflicts between nations, the new bomb of the Israeli-Palestinian war, and will turn into a deeper radicalization of Israel within its positions (that’s what we witness today).

Moreover, it is rather difficult for the Europeans to defend this kind of position currently , knowing that we haven’t been able these past years to help the Israeli and Palestinian people with any strong and coherent policy against their drifting governments, something that would be more than just attempts to get "promises" from political leaders aiming exclusively to win the following election campaigns ...

Mrs. Mogherini, we would highly recommend that you read Franck Biancheri’s proposals written in 2008, titled “Neighbourhood Policy of the EU - European Strategy of Stabilization - Israel / Palestine" (2009-2024)  ". He wrote this while he was president of the Newropeans, following his various visits to Israel and to Palestine, and his work may inspire your own future anticipatory statements, placing democracy and citizens above the international politico-strategic considerations:

"The aim of the EU is not to be a substitute for the populations concerned, because the latter are the only ones able to "make peace" This is the second NIPI proposal, a proposal that makes great sense when you look at our history throughout the European integration process.

"The non-violent stabilization of the relations between Israelis and Palestinians does not necessarily involve the direct reconciliation of the two populations, but it definitely requires the learning of a certain co-existence with nations of other cultures, languages or religions ...", a fundamental truth within Israel itself, where two populations are currently at war.

We should not put the cart before the horses: after two world wars opposing peoples in mass graves, to which November 11th means so much, Europe needed more than 50 years to be rebuilt... Let’s think twice before taking into consideration this unrealistic proposal of splitting Jerusalem, which is likely to reinforce the overall impression that Europe lacks maturity, skills and ability to understand and manage today’s world.

We had better rely on what our European integration history has taught us. Europe didn’t choose either Paris or Berlin as the capital of its institutions, but it chose neutral cities that do not cause offense to the memory of the peoples. During these commemorative days of the fall of the Berlin Wall , let us also remember that West Germany had not chosen Berlin, but a small town, Bonn, as the capital, waiting for the big shift we experienced in 1989, which was more than 20 years after the construction of the wall.

While having this same approach, this same logic, it seems obvious that Jerusalem, which is anything but a neutral city in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would not be the best choice. On the contrary, let’s seek some ways to help the Israeli-Palestinian crisis get rid of this hurting thorn.

The proposal of NIPI is a solution that could work for both parties concerned:

"Jerusalem, capital of no state for the following 20 years: Freezing the use of Jerusalem as the capital of either of the two states (or of both, simultaneously) for a period of twenty years, during which EU’s supporting policy would be applied. Financial back up for the installation and /or development of two distinct capitals, Ramallah and Tel Aviv. The question of Jerusalem being the capital of two states will be considered by the EU on condition that the general objectives are achieved."

Nowadays, with the trouble-making and disgusting application of the 21st century’s ineffective solutions, Europe must prove its modernity and the innovative nature of its project, as well as its added value, by showing that it is able to propose created frames. This would be possible thanks to its long term Western diplomacy experience, finally offering a new path for a coherent stabilization policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. One of these paths passes through the definition of two capital cities, Ramallah and Tel Aviv, in order to better install the central authorities of each state, and through Jerusalem’s special status, a city which essentially belongs to all religions of the earth.

Marianne Ranke-Cormier
President of Newropeans


Tags : Jérusalem