April 16th, 2014
12:06 PM ET

Mayor: Jerusalem will never function as divided city

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, about the prospects for a peace plan that includes East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Watch the video for more.

What are the solutions?

Well, I'll leave that to the national government. You can call Ramallah the center of the Palestinian people. They could bring their embassy to Jerusalem. They, today, have freedom of movement, freedom of religion. Today's Jerusalem is an open, international city. And, by the way, it's doing extremely well. Jerusalem, if you look at the trends in the city of Jerusalem, our economy has been growing 8 percent from year to year. Satisfaction of all residents – Muslims, Christians, the ultra-Orthodox, secular – is at a rise. Our crime rates are one tenth an average of any American city. When I fly to the States, I pray, because I know I'm 10 times more exposed to crime in the United States than I am back home in Jerusalem. And all of that – economy going north, crime rates going south, all of that – we must be doing something right.

And for you, the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, which is where the Palestinians would like to put their state, you think it would not be possible to have a Palestinian capital...

A very clear no. I'm committed to serving all my residents – the Muslim, the Christian, the Jewish residents.  For me, they're all the same. That's what the Jewish tradition, that's what the Jewish bible says. You've got to treat everyone equally. And that's exactly what we're doing. And there are gaps to close on the Arab neighborhoods and the Jewish neighborhoods.  And I'm committed to closing those gaps.  And that's why you see...

But I've never met a Palestinian negotiator who would accept that position, that they cannot have a capital in a part of Jerusalem.

Well, I think the demand...

So does that mean – peace is unlikely?

I think it's a demand that has to be off the table, because whoever raises such a demand doesn't understand the importance of the city of Jerusalem as a united city. And unfortunately, sometimes I feel that Israel does not have a partner to negotiate with, because the charter of…many of the Palestinians and our neighbors is to destroy Israel. And when somebody wants to destroy Israel, sometimes we feel that this is a salami-style negotiations. Let's take a piece now, and then we'll argue about the rest. The whole concept of negotiating with the Palestinians has to take another route. They have to understand that Jerusalem will never function as, God forbid, a divided city.


soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. TBA

    The negotiations in 2008 included the idea of a "Holy Basin", a united Jerusalem under the custodianship of several relevant international parties.

    April 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Holy Basin" is a great idea... For as long as Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and after this idea is proven to work in several other sovereign states.

      April 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  2. ✠RZ✠

    Jerusalem has a function?

    April 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  3. GOP Prayer

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  4. chrissy

    Israel doesn't have a partner to negotiate with??? Lol seriously? When did Israel become a negotiating kinda country? I don't think "negotiate" is even part of Israel's vocabulary!

    April 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Israel doesn't have a partner to negotiate with??? Lol seriously?"

      Yes, seriously. If it was not the case, this partner or partners would stop violence, recognize Israel and asked for peace negotiations. As long as the prospective "partners" are unable and/or unwilling to do these simple things Israel doesn't have a partner to negotiate with.

      In anticipation of your next question I will remind you that when there were negotiation partners in Egypt and Jordan Israel gladly negotiated peace agreements with them. These peace agreements are holding for several decades now.

      April 17, 2014 at 7:36 am | Reply
  5. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    April 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I agree with the mayor:Jerusalem should still be part of Palestine.

    April 17, 2014 at 2:24 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Jerusalem ws, is and will be part of Palestine. Just like Paris, Berlin and Moscow are parts of Europe.

      April 17, 2014 at 7:38 am | Reply
      • Jerry Levy

        There was never any soverign state of Palestine and Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab state, ever.

        June 11, 2014 at 8:04 am |
  7. palintwit

    The first big shipment of pinatas that resemble Sarah Palin will be on store shelves by Easter. Limit two to a customer.

    April 17, 2014 at 9:22 am | Reply
  8. ✠ RZ ✠

    Piñatas ?!? Thank goodness ! Here I thought the real-life-size models were blow up dolls made by Bush, Boehner & Co.

    April 17, 2014 at 10:00 am | Reply
  9. chrissy

    Lol @ RZ you've done it again! Lol i dont know how you keep comming up with this stuff...but keep up the jolly good job lmao!

    April 17, 2014 at 10:24 am | Reply
  10. Mikie

    Didn't God teach to share? Why are these religious extremists in Israel ignoring the teaching of GOD?

    April 17, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Great question, Mikie! You will be able to answer it yourself after learning the following facts:

      1. The Arabs own 99.84% of the common with Israel land while Israelis have the remaining 0.16%.
      2. One of four Israelis is an Arab while the number of Jews living in the Palestinian-controlled regions of the West Bank and Gaza is ZERO.
      3. An Average Arab owns TWELVE TIMES more land than an average Israeli. Therefore, to be fair the Arabs should give Israel the amount of land equal to ELEVEN Israels.

      Now, when you're prepared to answer your question "Didn't God teach to share?" can you please try to answer my question as well?

      Didn't ALLAH teach to share?

      April 17, 2014 at 11:45 am | Reply
  11. chrissy

    @ Thinker23, i wasnt really asking a question. Its pretty widely known that Israel just doesn't play well with others!

    April 17, 2014 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Chrissy... Can you NAME one of those "others" that is playing better with Israel than Israel is playing with that particular "other"?

      Good luck!

      April 17, 2014 at 11:34 am | Reply
  12. chrissy

    Lol well no i cant! Just as i can't name others that play well with "bullies" or rabid dogs for that matter! Generally whenever possible one tends to avoid those types! Except for masochists who might get a thrill from it!

    April 17, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Lol well no i cant! "

      So do I. This means (at least according to your best knowledge) that Israel is playing better with others than any of them is playing with Israel. This, in turn, means that you should complain about the bad habits of all those "others" first moving Israel to the very end of your list.

      April 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  13. Pastor Jim

    Reblogged this on JimErwin.com.

    April 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  14. chrissy

    I can also NOT name one country that Israel is playing NICE with either! They sure dont play nice with Iran or Palestine.

    April 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      I'm not sure WHAT you expect from Israel and WHY, Chrissy. Especially after admitting that Israel treats each one of its enemies BETTER than these enemies treat Israel.

      April 18, 2014 at 11:46 am | Reply
  15. chrissy

    So if they are being treated as they treat others, well thats to be expected! You get what you give in life!

    April 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Again, Israel treats each of its enemies BETTER than these enemies treat Israel. Remember, Israelis are mere humans, not angels and you should not expect or demand them not only to treat their enemies better than anyone else but to treat them in accordance with YOUR (extremely unrealistic, to say the least) expectations.

      April 18, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
  16. chrissy

    Replace the "nice" in my 1:35 post with "BETTER" which is what i meant to say!

    April 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Oh, I can help you here... The number of Arabs living in Israel as full fledged citizens INCREASED BY 800% since 1948. The number of Jews living in the Islamic Republic of Iran DECREASED BY 90%. The number of jes in the Arab countries DECREASED by 99% during the same period of time. The number of Jews living in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank and Gaza is EXACTLY ZERO.

      Now you CAN explain one difference between Israel and the Arab states or Iran in "playing" with each other. Congratulations!

      April 18, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
  17. Janice

    The Torah, is Book of Covenants, That is How HaShem governs, not by democracy, First allegiance is to Him and His Kingdom, Shema Israel, Adonai, Elohenu, Adonai Echad, not religion, He does not welcome all religions, He welcomes those who keep Covenant with HIm, strangers, foreignors, He's clear, you will have no foreign gods, Christianity is foreign gods of Rome; Islam is foreign gods of Saudi Arabia. you may have your own gods in your own lands, Rome, EU, US or in Saudi Arabia; not in HIs Holy Crown Land; is why Israel having so much trouble, Mr. Birkat, is good man, means well but follows traditions of Jews; which is not always in line with Covenant. Whay are religions major cause of war? They are not of His doing; they war against Him and His Covenant people.

    April 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      My comment above referred to cities and nations. Books about religion don't have anything to do with nations, as I view the situation.
      Regarding covenants, folks can make any contracts they like, as long as I can buy pork and escargots to eat on Fridays.

      April 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Somehow I doubt that God is no more than a machine running a program coded in a 2000-year-old book... With all due respect, of course.

      April 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  18. j. von hettlingen

    I'm not so sure if Nir Barkat means what he says. Even if he – personally – does so. It's not certain whether it applies to everybody in his administration.

    April 18, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Mr. Barkat certainly speaks for himself. NOT for the State of Israel.

      April 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  19. chrissy

    That is NOT at all what i said and you know it @ JR aka thinker23!

    April 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  20. chrissy

    And there seems to be a whole lot your not sure of...for instance you cant seem to remember who you are one minute from the next. I told you earlier to play nice today @ JR aka thinker23 and i would keep your secret. You chose to provoke me. I tolerated it yesterday but will not today.

    April 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  21. Prof M H Settelen

    In the sixties the fear was that Washington was ruled by Rome.
    Now that it is ruled via Las Vegas, by the Tel Aviv ultra orthodox revolting in Jerusalem, who beat up female pilgrims to the remains of King Solomon's Temple and refuse to wear their own Nation's uniform either as Medics or Chaplains (actually not educated enough 2 b a Chaplain), no sons of King David here & have no idea on how to sing His Psalter; the Vienna Boys & King's Cambridge must go to the Holy Land in late May & show them! The final default solution to the failed Negotiations under 242, that president Carter has written five learned volumes about, is to cancel the UN New York lease & send it packing to Jerusalem & the Secretariat to the settlements! QED

    April 21, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  22. 100 % ETHIO

    The crime rates are better in back home?
    What is he talking about?

    He live on high alert 24/7 and he compared it with US?

    Get your fact street, visitor.

    April 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  23. Jerry Levy

    After 20 years of negotiations, the PA's positions are: 1) no recognition of the Jewish state of Israel, 2) Jerusalem must be handed over to them, and 3) Israel must accept 4.5 million hostile Arab refugees into their pre 1967 boundaries. This on top of the fact the PA is extremely corrupt, publicly pushing the most anti Semitic views in their press and in schools, and continuing to support violence against the Israelis. Not sure where negotiations are headed.

    June 11, 2014 at 8:03 am | Reply

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