The hopes of some Israelis that the Arabs of the West Bank would migrate elsewhere have not been fulfilled. And as President Barack Obama stated in his recent visit to Israel, "Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer."
The situation in Jerusalem and the most recent agreement notwithstanding, for an effective defence of Muslim and Christian sites in the holy city, there is need for more than declarations and agreements.
Israeli military law imposed in the occupied West Bank places sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. This makes any unauthorized peaceful protest by Palestinians a criminal offence.
Jerusalemite Palestinians and the general Palestinian and Jordanian public are curious about the reason behind this sudden interest and wish they could be included in the discussion, rather than learn about them in the media.
Whoever agrees that the preferred solution to the conflict are two-states-for-two-peoples needs to realize that this possibility to implement is gradually slipping away while no progress, however small or incremental, is being made.
This is the real struggle taking place today in Jerusalem: a battle between those whose vision for the city hinges on guaranteeing full rights and a dignified existence for all residents, and those who place politics and divine decree ahead of the everyday needs of the people.
In Silwan there is a fight over nationality, history and also religion. For the Palestinians, it is a Palestinian neighborhood, next to Al-Aqsa Mosque where thousands of Palestinians have been living for ages
While other nations witness how divisive American politics currently is -- with Glenn Beck at the forefront of the over-the-top rhetoric -- it remains to be seen why Israel would allow itself to be a staging ground for his extreme brand of political theater.