President Trump’s announcement of an intent to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is an opportunity to consider alternatives for this renowned city. A more creative new approach would be to elevate a unified Jerusalem to the status of an international city with sovereignty by both Israel and Palestine. It would indeed be the capital for both nations. The Israeli Knesset is already there. Palestine would construct a new capitol building. It would be both-and, a win-win situation.
In a unified Jerusalem residents would have equal right to vote and elect a city council. Recognizing a dual constituency, there could be two mayors, one Jewish, one Palestinian (drawing on the experience of Israel with its two chief rabbis). Each mayor would have a veto on local legislation. They could share a common reception area with the hope that propinquity would enhance cooperation.
The municipal police department with both Jewish and Palestinian officers would perform ordinary police functions together, and they would be in a position to deal with any militants aiming to disrupt the public order.
As a further step to promote harmony and cooperation, there could be a citywide council of neighborhoods to bring residents together and allow them to work cooperatively on mutual concerns. This would create opportunities for communication between Israelis and Palestinians, between persons of different economic classes and stations in life. They would offer hospitality to one another. They would seek unity out of diversity. Together they would promote achievement of a glorious city, a New Jerusalem that provides for the well-being of all.