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How Do You Talk About Borders Without Talking About Jerusalem

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"How Do You Talk About Borders Without Talking About Jerusalem"

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Something I didn’t understand about today’s presidential speech was the idea that resolution of the Jerusalem issue could somehow be deferred in favor of first negotiating a settlement about borders, based on the 1949 cease fire lines. The old cease-fire lines ran right through Jerusalem. Here’s a map showing (in yellow) the Israeli-defined municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, the Israeli-built security wall, the old cease-fire line, and Israeli settlements in the Jerusalem area:

Obama’s idea, consistent with the Clinton parameters, is that rather than strict adherence to the cease-fire line, the two sides should negotiate “land swaps” in which Israel annexes some settlement land and in exchange gives Palestine some extra territory elsewhere. But some of this land swapping is going to have to happen right here in the Jerusalem area. The question of the border and the disposition of Jerusalem seem intimately linked.

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