Something truly sad happened while I was in Jerusalem. Around lunchtime, July 2nd, a Palestinian inhabitant of East Jerusalem who worked for a construction firm building a new railway system in the city, used his bulldozer to flip over a bus, and crush several vehicles. The entire rampage left three people dead, in one of Jerusalem’s busiest streets, Jaffa Road.
One of the primary responses which was brought up by public opinion was to “fence off Eastern Jerusalem”, which would essentially make its inhabitants West Bank palestinians. It would also violate Israel’s own principle of keeping Jerusalem “undivided”. While it would increase the potential for a Palestinian 2-state solution to work, it would also cut masses of people out of their job and decrease their living standards. As such, doing so in response to an event like this would be rash, and any such decision should need to be discussed at a much higher level.
Ehud Olmert, the Israel Prime Minister did decide against this solution, as East Jerusalem residents, under law, have similar rights to other Israelis and could as such not be detained or “moved away”.
This just to illustrate that people here are very much living next to another instead of with eachother. If public opinion calls for part of the society to be abandoned, that society really hardly exists.