If the Palestinians agree with the two state solution, East Jerusalem should be their capital

Professor Ilan Pappe prefers to the State of Palestine for all, Arabs and Jews, with Jerusalem as their capital.

22 Juni 2021 12:05

Jerusalem will always be a hot spot and a very sensitive issue in the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians. As we saw last month, the violences between Israeli security forces and young Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound expanded to the West Bank, mixed cities in Israel, and triggered the Gaza War. 

As an Israeli Jew, Professor Ilan Binyamin Pappe strongly believe that one state solution is the best option to resolve the issue of Palestine. But he added if the Palestinians agree with a two state solution, East Jerusalem should be their capital. 

Please read: Jerusalem should be the capital of a free Palestine in the future

"Again it is up to the Palestinians to decide if they are happy with a two states solution, this will reflect on their position on Jerusalem," said Professor Ilan Pappe in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via email yesterday. 

Unfortunately, until today the two state solution has been dictated by international community against the Palestinians, not based on their willingness. The two state solution should be asked to all Palestinians through a referendum. 

Moreover some Palestinian factions, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, oppose the two state solution. For them, the State of Israel has no right to exist. 


Where is the starting point to talk about the right to claim about Jerusalem between Palestine and Israel? During the Ottoman era, or the issuance of Balfour Declaration in 1917, or British Mandate until the UN Partition Plan in 1947?

I think today in 2021 we should rely mainly on the 1949 UN resolution of Jerusalem, which Israel violated by transferring the governmental offices from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and this is why very few states have embassies in Israel. The resolution defined Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, an international city.

In the term of demographic composition, according to you, who does have the right to claim Jerusalem as its capital? Palestine or Israel?

This has nothing to do with demography to my mind, but with the political solution for the whole of historical Palestine. Since I believe Palestine and Israel should become a democratic state for all, Jerusalem should reflect this new regime - a holy place to all three religions and the capital of free Palestine

Israel has unilaterally claimed Jerusalem as a whole (include East Jerusalem) as their eternal capital. Do you think is it right for Palestinians to claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their state?

If the solution is a two states solution then indeed this is a reasonable Palestinian demand,

Or Palestinians should also claim Jerusalem as a whole, include West Jerusalem?

Again it is up to the Palestinians to decide if they are happy with a two states solution, this will reflect on their position on Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will always become a sensitive issue. Hamas has gained more popularity among Palestinians, include in Jerusalem and West Bank, stated Jerusalem as a whole belongs to Palestine. Do you agree this will be everlasting conflict?

Jerusalem is important but not more important from the ongoing Nakba. In fact, if we can rectify the evil of that ongoing Nakba, the live and let live environment in Jerusalem can be recreated quite easily,

Do you think in the next five years Jewish population will dominate East Jerusalem than Palestinians?

This is an acute danger, since this is the Israeli plan. It remains to be seen if this could be averted.

Do you have any recommendation about how to solve the issue of Jerusalem?

It can not be separated from the overall solution. So it has to be part of the future democratic state. It should be understood that Zionism did not only try to create a Jewish state but also a European one.

A free Palestine will belong again to the Arab world and in the Arab world, Islam has a special place as a civilization not just religion and this should be reflected in Jerusalem.

How do you think on the new Israeli government will manage the issue of Jerusalem?

Very much as the previous one. This will be the same policy of Judaization of East Jerusalem, they might be a bit more sensitive in violating Haram al-Sharif.

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