The Prime Minister is right to point out that the occupation of East Jerusalem is both counter-productive to a two state solution and has left hundreds of thousands of people in a permanent limbo, with Israeli residency but no citizenship.
With much of the violence in Israel and the West Bank in recent months perpetrated by young Palestinians from East Jerusalem – leading to the erection of more barriers and increased division between Jewish and Palestinian neighbourhoods – it is clear that Israel’s supporters worldwide cannot ignore the ramifications of simultaneously neglecting and occupying East Jerusalem.
As Jews, our commitment to the wellbeing of Jerusalem and our holy sites is unwavering. We must recognise, however, that any viable political agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will necessitate the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem alongside the Israeli capital in West Jerusalem. Continued growth in Israeli enclaves in the midst of Palestinian areas such as Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan and the current route of the security barrier, which cuts off parts of Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of the city, threaten the viability and contiguity of the future Palestinian capital.
Supporters of Israel should make it clear that policies which make a two state solution harder to implement and which increase Palestinian suffering make Israel less safe and secure in the long run.