Yossi Sarid
Haaretz (Opinion)
November 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu marches from victory to victory. After beating the U.S. president, he returned and bested the Palestinian prime minister, who Tuesday skipped a scheduled visit in East Jerusalem.

Salam Fayyad is public enemy number one in Israel these days. We proscribe him, because the world finds him praiseworthy. Fayyad is not corrupt, and that's a problem. He's not even a hedonist, apparently. He is pleasant, his cheeks stubble-free - altogether nicer and less threatening than Yasser, say.

He studied and worked in the United States, and his English is fluent; yet another strategic loss for Israel. There's a rumor that on a recent visit, senior members of the New York Times editorial staff were more impressed by him than by his Israeli counterpart, and gave expression to this in an editorial calling on Netanyahu to stop his dangerous games.

With wise counsel shall Fayyad wage his war against us: He is building the Palestinian state from its foundations, stone by stone. His security forces are imposing law and order, suppressing terror, weakening Hamas. Monies sent to the Palestinian Authority no longer get lost on their way to their destination. Donors trust him because they see the results of their contributions.

Fayyad is gradually undermining and invalidating Israel's traditional arguments: He has brought security, but there is still no peace. He meets PA President Mahmoud Abbas' extremism with moderation. Dangerous he is: He will kill us with moderation.

And now he is casting an eye at Jerusalem, too; his scheming knows no bounds or fences. After mapping Israeli neglect precisely, he leaped into no man's land. If Israel will not build and renovate the schools in East Jerusalem, then he will step in to fill the vacuum. If Israel neglects the roads and sidewalks despite repeated complaints, he orders them repaired and paved.

And as if that provocative and scandalous interference were not enough, he has the chutzpah to openly celebrate the completion of these works. That won't do. Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch will head him off. Fayyad may spend money in our stead, but quietly. The right to noisy celebration is reserved for the Jewish settlers of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.

Our right to the entire city of Jerusalem has expired, and not only because half of it is Arab and has remained so despite all the cleansing and Judaization efforts. Our right expired because we never genuinely joined it together. Just the reverse: We divided and governed, stole and inherited, and even the new wall we stuck in its heart in order to divide it, Hallelujah.

One can argue about our historic right, but it is difficult to dispute our natural duty, which comes from above. Through our own stinginess and hardheartedness toward the eastern part of the city, which was never joined to the rest and became an open wound. Unified Jerusalem, a godless city.

Salam Fayyad can still be kept away from the center of the city, but Jerusalem itself can no longer be kept off the center of the agenda.


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