Sarkozy (and Suicide) in Israel

Some wild and unfortunate events ended French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Israel today.

An Israeli official says a policeman committed suicide at an airport farewell for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, setting off panic at the ceremony.

The shooting at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport sent Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni, running up the stairs into their airplane. Security guards surrounded the French leader and whisked him aboard as well. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was also hustled away. (MORE)

Yesterday, Sarkozy addressed the Knesset and in addition to expressing his support for Israel and his stance against a nuclear Iran, the President called for a freeze on settlement activity and the eventual division of Jerusalem.

This last point was aggressively rejected by the National Council of Young Israel, an American synagogue group, today.

The French President has no business suggesting that Israel divide that which is indivisible.  Israel can agree to a divided Jerusalem no more than General Charles de Gaulle and the French were able to agree to a divided France under the Nazis during Work War II.  The position of the National Council of Young Israel continues to be that there can be no division of Jerusalem at any time, under any circumstances. (MORE)

While I can sympathize with an intense attachment to Jerusalem, language like this — the reference to WWII and the absolute non-negotiability of Jerusalem — seems wholly inappropriate from an American Jewish group.

Most interestingly, the NCYI seems to explicitly introduce theological beliefs into its policy stance when it says that Israel cannot divide something that is “indivisible.”

They cannot, of course, be speaking about physical divisibility. Before 1967, Jerusalem was, indeed, divided. And security logistics aside, there would be no reason why it could not be physically divided again.

Thus, NCYI must be appealing to some metaphysical idea of Jerusalem. And whether you agree with their political take on Jerusalem or not, this a Pandora’s box that worries me.

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