Jerusalem: Some Legal Issues
Rüdiger Wolfrum (Ed.), The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, 2011)
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies - The JIIS Studies Series No. 415
35 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2011
Although the Jerusalem question is basically a political one, legal aspects are also relevant for several reasons. First, some of the questions are in fact of a legal nature. Second, the parties base their claims on legal arguments. And third, when a compromise is reached, it will be included in a document of a legal nature.
When looking for a solution to the dispute about Jerusalem, one has to take account of various aspects: the symbolic and religious significance of the city, its heterogeneity as well as its geographical location. A compromise has to deal with very difficult matters, e.g. sovereignty (should it be divided? or shared? or suspended? or cooperative? or functional? or belong to God?); borders (should the borders of the city be redrawn? Or should it be enlarged so that it can include both an Israeli and a Palestinian capital?); Holy Places (their definition and their status), municipal structure, planning and conservation, economics, security, possible international involvement, infrastructure (e.g. water, sewage, access roads), settlement of disputes, relations with the adjoining areas (how to preserve the close relationship with the surrounding areas in matters of culture and economics, irrespective of political borders), etc.
Some of these issues are very difficult. But if the parties really want peace, it may be hoped that they may reach a solution to the question of Jerusalem
Keywords: Jerusalem, legal, political, religious, city, sovereignty, God, borders
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation