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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  November 26, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm EST

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look at the first kids. after making a bunch of noise, republicans didn't have much comment on the president's pardoning the turkeys. >> inside story is next. al jazeera america. >> from across the world, people have revealed, longed for and willing to die for jerusalem. today israelis and palestinians are locked in struggle over its future. it's inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. for much of the last 5,000 years
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it has not been important economically or home to a huge population. but as the place where the creator god communes with humanity, jerusalem has taken on an enormous importance for a long time. in tradition it's where god tested abraham ordering him to sacrifice isaac. the epicenter of the judicial cold is the location of the ark of the covenant. it's the place where the jesus of nazareth preached. it's where the prophet muhammad made his night journey and in his night journey saw heaven. it's the city that thousands have fought for and died for dozens of times. now tensions are escalating again. >> in thence of peace negotiations palestinians and israeli leaders are increasing the pressure on one another.
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and caught in the middle are the people who live in israel and the occupied west bank. on sunday the israeli cabinet with the support of prime minister benjamin netanyahu approved what is called the nationality law. it would declare israel the nation-state of the usual people , but israeli arabs are one fifth of the population. >> i promise the future of the people of israel in the country of israel and the state of israel. >> some israeli arabs say they also feel like second class citizens, and some feel that the law will take away their rights. >> this law is undemocratic, and could be used for legitimatizing the discrimination against palestinians of israel. >> and then there is jerusalem itself. the long-sought-after would-be
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capitol of two nations has been riven in tit-for-tat violence. palestinians were angered by what they had seen by right wing jews. some have lashed out in violence. five israelis, including four rabbis were were killed last week in an attack on a synagogue in west jerusalem. in retaliation they would destroy the homes of the attackers. they're blaming the leader of the palestinian authority saying he's inciting the violence. >> i'm really not safe, and before leaving the house i think twice. i wanted to go out with my daughter, but i left her at home.
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we're very terrified. we're not calm, and we hope there is an end to this, and that it is not just the beginning. >> the police is the issue. they work with the government to discriminate between arabs and jews to make people leave jerusalem. but this won't happen. our lives and our work are here. whatever they do here they won't succeed. >> the animosity under scores what mean are calling the myth of an unified jerusalem, and as things simmer the palestinian authority ups the ante by seeking recognition. netanyahu appears to be moving further right, promising harsh retaliations to any attacks, and his government continues to build settlements across the west bank. >> conflict over jerusalem. it's promise of israelis and palestinians over what israel
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calls it's eternal and undivided capitol, and palestinians consider the capitol of their future state. simply inevitable and impossible to solve. with the killing of jews at prayer, of kids, are we entering a new and more dangerous period? joining us for that conversation, senior analyst for the middle east and north africa. for the international crisis group. a veteran israeli diplomat who now teaches history at an american university in washington, and executive director of george mason university's center for world religion diplomacy. he grew up in east jerusalem, where he continues to live part time. this latest escalation, these different attacks from different communities. is this jerusalem being pulled in to the wider conflict that we saw earlier in the year in gaza, and across the border in syria?
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>> at least the one in gaza we've seen since the summer, since the fighting in gaza. thin the kidnapping of israeli boys and then the revenge killing, and the high escalation in jerusalem, but with its own particularities, essentially in the absence of political leadership people are taking responsibility for their own lives, trying to defend themselves and in individual acts of violence. >> is there something different about this latest set of attack and counterattack that sets it apart from other thames when we've seen rising tensions in jerusalem? >> no, not really. in reality people in jerusalem
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have lived in similar situations the last few years. normally it happened in palestinian neighborhoods, and the way the government looked at it, if you deal with security in east jerusalem that would stop it, but this violence has been going on for quite awhile. and we've seen similar attacks. even in 2008 we've seen similar attacks, actually, with people who feel that they decided to carry those attacks, not organized as any palestinian faction, but these are not new attacks. >> but are there differences in the attempts to create new neighborhoods in the attempts to change what had been tense but long settled lines of demarcation between communities? are there attempts to, in effect, rewrite the map of jerusalem that have put an edge on this? >> yes, there is the trigger of
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it that has been happening now. but this has been going on for a while, 2008, almost 5,000 palestinians lost their reside residency. kids live under the poverty line. they're missing 1,000 classes of classrooms. this has been going on for a while. it's becoming more visible because the anger is not possible to contain. people can't take it even more p and you can't have a normal life like this. the israelis, they don't hear about this. for israelis, it's all new stuff. but for most of my family who live in east jerusalem, this is the day-to-day life that has been going on for the last 20-30 years. >> you have heard the tough assertion that israelis are not aware of the sufferings of palestinians under this set of circumstances.
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your an israeli, is that true? >> well, for israelis the situation right now is very delicate, very sensitive. israelis are under attack. buses, light-rail transportation, in synagogues. this is unprecedented, and the scope of attacks that i can recall in recent years, and clearly israels are now struggling to come to terms after years of a quiet jerusalem. so what he has been describing is from his perspective an with the. i can account for the fact that jerusalem has been pretty quiet for many years. and has been seeing coexistence between arabs and jews for many years. now israelis do support the unified jerusalem, and there have been deals on the table in recent years in which israel made some far-reaching offers,
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including sharing jerusalem and splitting neighborhoods and having joint custodianship of the holy site, and there were proposals put on the table by israeli leaders rejected by the palestinian authority. clearly the issues need to be settled through negotiations. it has to be between israel and palestinian leaders, and only then will it be solved. >> you've been taking a close look at what donachi what don has been talking about. those as fa offers, help us understand the tension points of the palestinian side of the argument saying no, sorry, we can't accept that deal.
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>> we see that it is an point of view, and it is progressing more and more, the proposal in 2002 was a palestinian state divided in four blocks. the air space. and so on. and the proposal which was more generous and about continuous territory, first it was quite intrusive in terms of land swaps, and second. the really generous offer that may be something that president abbas could have said yes to when they had 67% of public
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opinion, and for abbas it would have been risky to then say yes, and the prime minister who offered the appeal, and to be seen by his own public in exchange made big concessions, and the fear was essentially israel would then poke at these concessions, and in the start of the next round of negotiations from that point. it's difficult to tell whether, indeed, there was another option or not. it was an incredibly difficult decision for him. and and he declined. >> the visions that both the palestinian in its largest sense and elected representatives who sit in the palestinian parliament, who were members of the pa. what are the sticking points that have them when these offers
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come that say no, i'm sorry, we can't do that. what does it contain, especially in jerusalem. what is contained in these offers that has people saying, no, we just can't accept that? >> there are multiple things. a palestinian state that has no control over its air space, no control over its holy sites, no control of how the city is going to run. it's not really a palestinian state in general. for palestinians, if we're not going to have something meaningful, then it's better not to have it, and go for one state. originally palestinians until 1988 have went for one state, and the one state would have been both arab and jewish state. giving away 78% of what we believed to be palestinian. but giving away 78% and then
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having to give away our controls and border controls and now prime minister benjamin netanyahu is talking about the main junctions, the main roads, the jordan valley, so many things that makes that two-state solution impossible for palestinians the way it's presented. alternatively, i don't see the palestinian leadership offering a good alternative for palestinians, which is leading to a lot of frustration. most palestinians are tired of the whole talks about negotiations that are lead to go action and anger, and unfortunately leads to attacks like the ones we've seen in the synagogue, which i think is terrible. it does not help the palestinians in any way. the only thing it does is portray palestinians as inhumane. one thing we have to keep holding on to humanity even as we lose other things. >> we'll be back with more
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inside story in a moment. when we return we'll continue our look at the future of jerusalem. what are the boundaries of this place in 2014? where have buildings and neighborhoods risen that create challenges for future negotiations? stay with us. >> the final frontier exploring... discovering... experiencing all that is possible... the new space race >> we're democratizing space... >> for profit... >> a hunk of the moon that you can hold in your hands, could be worth a billion dollars >> who are the players? what's the cost? how will it impact our future? >> i hope that when i'm 50 i'll be a millionaire from this >> from fiction to fact, al velshi investigates the business of space on al jazeera america
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you. >> welcome too inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez.
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we're looking at the current conflicts and status of jerusalem at this time on the program. while the world's attention was focused on the fighting in gaza, the pressure and the heat was rising in jerusalem. recent attacks including the slaughter of jews at prayer and synagogue has the world looking on nervously. don, when it comes down to brass tacks, when people are sitting at a table like this one, with a map. does the political mix with the three logical, and when the conversation is strictly political, does the theological always stand in the wings looking over your shoulder? >> the theological has always been hovering above. you can't ignore it when you sit at the negotiating table. there have been over the years very practical proposals of dealin dealing dealing with theological on one hand and dealing with the political on the other hand. it's still very easy.
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pretty simple if the parties are in a good-will mode, and if they're willing to give--give it a shot. then it's pretty simple to divide jerusalem. to have the jewish neighborhoods for the jews and the arab neighborhoods for the palestinians. it's pretty clear that this is something that can be done, can be achieved. we need to have negotiations in good faith, and unfortunately, israelis and palestinians can't sit alone. they need a third party to go between them. >> when you say jewish neighborhoods for jews, and palestinian neighborhoods for the palestinians, those neighborhoods, where they are, would they be contiguous? would they be related or connected in any realistic way to a palestinian entity that's also self governing? >> i agree, it's very hard. as time goes by and there is no
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solution, they are we're getting further and further away of being able to have a continuous contiguous territory. but there are solutions, practical solutions that can be found, that still can secure contiguity. >> do you buy that? is there enough left that a finger of land for the palestinian entity. this is enough east jerusalem for us to say this is our capitol. at least we won't be dying any more. >> i have a hard time to believe it. i think we get to a point where it's hard. not just because these neighborhoods are making it not contiguous land, but also because there a lot of jews living in palestinian areas. areas that are palestinians neighborhoods have settlements
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inside them. eventually it will be harder and harder to evacuate those settlers, and to have palestinian neighborhoods and jewish neighborhoods, slowly you don't have those distinctions any more. >> i should point out, i'm going to stipulate is a very thoughtful guy, it's the length of the satellite transmission that is making him pause while he comes up with the answer. he's thoughtful but not that thoughtful. with people buying land and buying in neighborhoods where they wouldn't normally go if they were a member of a certain community, is there an attention where for a long time people observe those lines that is making some of this more difficult than it needs to be? >> yes, but i wouldn't overstate it. i think it is possible to hold two capitols in jerusalem.
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i don't think settlement construction automatically change the state. there is a very problematic settlement in which there was reality disagreement between negotiators today, and it is one specific area. i don't fully share the view that settlers who live in arab neighborhoods are rendering it impossible. there are 6,000, and 600 are built temporarily. in terms of because the israeli government will basically order them to do so, this is very feasible. it's less than 2,000 people. we've seen they have sanctified the state previous to the
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evacuation of the gaza strip. we saw the evacuation last year. most of them packed their own bags and left. they cannot attack according to their own theology. many have died from such attacks from settlers. it has made it more difficult. it's not as if this is making it easier, but this is not the course of thing that would prevent a two-state solution flo from happening. >> we'll have more from inside story on al jazeera america after a break. if we take a look at what palestinians want and what israelis want, is there a future that gives them enough of what they want, enough to have peace. stay with us.
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>> you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. have the contours of jerusalem's future already been determined in brick and it's a fault, in fences, walls and check points. when palestinians look at what is not only desirable but what is achievable. have they had to scale back their expectations of what they would be willing to accept in a final settlement. still with us, the international crisis group our guests.
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this long two-decade period since oslo has allowed a lot of things to happen in advance of a final settlement. has this put pressure on palestinians to perhaps come in short of what they had wanted because they don't want to suffer any more losses. >> no, not really. i don't hi--i think palestinians are desperate for a peace agreement. if you talk to the palestinian people on the street, they're desperate to end this conflict. the toll is really high, especially in places like east jerusalem where you feel it day-to-day. there is a desperate look. but also there is a frustration and lack of hope. hopelessness, der parity, this is just not happening. we've been negotiating for 20 years. is this really the path to get us this state.
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it's not the same view shared. you have 300,000 settlers in east jerusalem. you can't move those away, but often when we talk about these settlers, we talk about land that will be exchanged, and palestinians don't see that as okay. the more settlements being built, the more land is being lost, saying that we'll replace it with other land some place else, don't worry about it. palestinians hear we'll take what we want, and then later on we'll give you something else in exchange. that's unacceptable for palestinians. there is no reason to negotiate over a land that's being taken away while you negotiating at the same time. >> when we talk about land swaps, do we also have to concede that land in and around jerusalem because of its tremendous symbolic importance to what it shows the rest of the world is not like land elsewhere in the long border between these
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two small states. >> i would argue, that yes, the value of land in east jerusalem is not particularly high. when people talk about land swaps it's not just quantity but quality. and if it really wanted to compensate the palestinians for this land, offer something that they find sufficiently meaningful. it does not mean that such a deal is not possible. it does mean that what israel proposes so far is inefficient. >> don, as we sit here and watch this from the united states, we're not always privy to domestic political considerations, the press on any
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current israeli prime minister or cabinet. does prime minister benjamin netanyahu face thing internally that make it hard for him to cut a deal around jerusalem? >> i agree that politics play as very important role on both sides. both in prime minister's netanyahu's considerations. when you talk about prime minister benjamin netanyahu, you have to start with the departure point. it's a consensual issue. most support an unified jerusalem as capitol of the jewish state, and so on. now these recent moves that we've seen in recent weeks of different members of attempts going on temple mount they are clearly politically motivated. the different statements coming out of prime minister benjamin netanyahu are also politically motivated. it's not that things have
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changed overnight. there has not been a change on the ground. and these are pretty much have to do with the fact that netanyahu is right now involved in a competition or trying to get--to stop the spilling over of voters from the jewish home party to netanyahu's party, and in this way by posturing as more right winged than he usually is, that's when things can get-- >> thank you all. happy thanksgiving. that brings us to the end of inside story. i'm ray suarez. >> coming up at 6:00 p.m. eastern on al jazeera america. officials release the video that shows police killing a 12-year-old boy who was holding a plastic begun. why they released it and how the department is responding. roads clogged, flights delayed.
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