The conflict between Israel and Arab nations is over a half century old, but some of the original issues of dispute continue exerting the emotional power to stir up anger and hatred. Jerusalem is regarded as critical to the meaning of an Israel and a Palestinian state since it represents the core of each people’s belief in religion. The American State Department issued a statement on Sunday in response to comments by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear in the statement that “Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on final status issues.”
Netanyahu opened up the proverbial can of worms by insisting “united Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours, it will never again be partitioned and divided.” Negotiations entails give and take in which both sides gain and lose. Exactly what is Netanyahu ready to give up in the pursuit of peace?