The Historic Basin of Jerusalem – Problems and Possible Solutions- Concluding Remarks
Publication Year: 2007
“The main aim of this study is to highlight different scenarios for an agreement on Jerusalem’s Historic Basin, which as we know, is the spiritual summit of hundreds of millions believers from all over the world, as well as the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Two principles underlie this research. The first is that without an agreement on the question of the Historic Basin there is no chance at all to end the conflict between the two sides. The second is that a hard-edged territorial division of sovereignty of the Basin will cause great harm to the functioning of the Basin. The central innovation of this research is the discussion regarding the possibility of international intervention (to various degrees) in administering the basin. Such intervention could improve the chances of reaching an agreement, especially in light of the mistrust that has so deeply permeated the views of each side, as well as in light of the immense religious and cultural importance of the area.”
A Special Regime for the Historic Basin
There is basis for hope that at some stage, the sides will negotiate over the future of Jerusalem, and we hope that the proposals we have worked on may prove to be of help. Since the historic basin is very important to both sides, we thought it advisable to propose for it a special regime, which does not involve a complete relinquishment of the claims of any of the parties. Perhaps a solution can be found to satisfy each side in its wish for symbols of sovereignty, and not involve a complete division of the basin into two political entities — a situation which would impinge on its ability to function efficiently.
Of course a wide variety of types of regimes might be possible, but we have chosen to focus on the five that seem to us to be the most relevant:
a. Israeli control of the basin, subject to personal (cultural) autonomy for the Palestinians, and with a special regime for the holy places;
b. Palestinian control of the basin, subject mutatis mutandis to the same restrictions as mentioned for control by Israel;
c. territorial division of the basin between the two sides;
d. joint administration by the parties, with international backing;
e. international administration with delegation of powers and responsibilities to each of the two sides.