Though at this point it seems the latest round of Mideast peaces talks are on the verge of failing, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has issued a somewhat surprising statement today insisting that the partitioning of Jerusalem is not off-limits.
In fact, according to Barak, Israel is ready to cede a number of Arab neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem as part of a future Palestinian State, and would allow some sort of “special regime” to manage the city’s holy sites.
The comments fly in the face of proclamations from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has insisted repeatedly that the entire city will remain the eternal capital” of Israel and that he will never allow any division of it.
Of course between the Hebron shootings and the resumption of settlement expansion in the West Bank, it seems the talks will fail in a matter of weeks, at best, and both sides are already trading charges over whose fault the impending failure will be. Still the mention of Jerusalem will likely raise a few eyebrows.