tv Deutsche Welle Journal LINKTV April 5, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PDT
narrator: the region of northern africa and southwest asia is largely islamic. but jerusalem, like the rest of israel and palestine, is bitterly divibetween mus. at the beginning of the 21st century, arabs in the israeli-occupied territories on the west bank and the gaza strip began an uprising they called the "second intifada." it was marked by a seemingly endless cycle of arab attacks and suicide bombings follow by israeli repriss. in order to understand the prospects for peace, we explore the historical geography of israel and palestine with special emphasis on the sacred space of jerusalem. for half a century, israelis and palestinians have battled over jerusalem and a larger homeland.
helping to mediate competing claims was dennis b. ross, special envoy for the first president bush and then president clinton. as his term ended, the peace process crumbled. the intifada that began has had lots of casualties. unfortunately, one of the worst casualties-- in addition to the true human suffering-- has been a loss of complete faith and belief in peacemaking. what is so disheartening for someone like me, after having doted so much ti to th effort, is that in the year 2000, the palestinians were, in fact, this close to being able to achieve their aspirations. today the gap between their aspirations and reality is enormous. narrator: whatever the future, it is rooted in the historical and political geography of the whole region. here, the culture hearth of muslims, christians and jews was controlled first by the ottoman
and then by the british empire in the first half of the 20th century. these were colonies, not nation-states, and the british drew their often arbitrary borders. in the heartland, jerusalem was more a religious than a political cter. david, the king, started thec, and since then, nobody ever made it a capital. and the muslims were here for 1,500 years-- or something of the kind, 1,400 years. ( man speaking arabic ) translator: this is a very holy place for the muslims. for centuries it has been the first holy place after mecca and medina, the most holy places of the muslims all around the world. narrator: for muslims, this is where abraham offered to sacrifice his son, and muhammad rose to heaven. ( speaking french ) translator: jerusalem is the center and the source of the faith. for the jews, it's the city of david.
for me, it is the city in which jesus died for us and rose again from the dead. this is the beauty, but also the paradox and sometimes the tragedy of jerusalem: one city; two people; three religions. it could thus be a wonderful sign of oneness for which the whole world strives, a situation of peace or a sign of opposition. narrator: as a place of religious significance, jerusalem has few equals. but the conflict here is more about nationalism than religion. the modern story begins with upheaval not here, but in europe. in the 1930s, a growing number of zionist jews immigrated to palestine in search of a homeland safe from nazi and other persecution. they dreamed of a jewish state. but the lestin wanted their own state, too. after world war ii, the united nations proposed dividing palestine into a jewish state
with slightly more than half the land, and a palestinian state with 45%. jerusalem and bethlehem were to have special status under united nations jurisdiction. in 1948, the pace quickened. at midnight on may 14, the british withdrew. so that was the end of the british mandate. upon their withdrawal, israel proclaimed statehood. narrator: the jews celebrated. but the arabs were two-thirds of the population and owned more than half the land. they rejected the plan and began fighting. in the war that followed, the jews prevailed, enlarging their territory, but only able to capture the western half of jerusalem. they made their first capital in tel aviv. jerusalem became a divided city. the boundary drawn between west and east jerusalem was called the "green line," and that's what highway number one is still called today.
east jerusalem was then part of jordan, and it contained the jews' holiest sites, inuding theiancient temple, destroyed by the romans. once the temple was destroyed, all that remained was the western wall. this place is important for the jewish people worldwide. ross: this is what people prayed to ever since the second temple was destroyed, ever since the jewish people were dispersed. narrator: but because they were in jordanian east jerusalem, the site was off limits to jews until 1967. that year, israel defeated threatening arab armies in the six-day war and gained control over more territory. from syria they took the golan heights. from egypt they captured the sinai peninsula and the gaza strip. from jordan they occupied the west bank of the jordan river, including the rest of jerusalem. ross: after the six-day war, after the victory in '67,
with the unification of jerusalem, one of the very first things done by a labor-led government was to make it clear that jerusalem would never be divided again. narrator: israel had moved its capital to jerusalem in 1950, but now it redrew and expanded the city's boundaries. the green line once separated the jewish neighborhoods in orange from the arab neighborhoods in yellow. but after the '67 war, jewish neighborhoods began appearing in east jerusalem. they applied the same strategy in the occupied west bank and golan heights. but victory and occupation did not bring peace. israel fought its arab neighbors again in 1973. they battled lebanese militias and the palestine liberation army, or plo, in the north. although israel returned the sinai in 1981,
terror campaigns persisted through the '70s and '80s in the west bank and gaza. hoping to eventually trade land for peace, israel gambled on a 1993 plan negotiated in oslo. the main thing that oslo produced was mutual recognition between israel and the plo. for the plo, recognition of israel meant, all right, we are now accepting a two-state solution. for the israelis to accept the plo meant that they were accepting, in effect, the plo agenda. and they knew the plo agenda was statehood. if you accept the idea of having a palestinian state, and we insist on having a palestinian state-- you know, we need a capital-- and the only capital that could be, from a geographical point of view, for what would be a palestinian state in the west bank, would be jerusalem. man: the basis of our claim is that we're here. there's be a jewismajority of the jerusalem population since the middle of the 19th century.
annow we are of populatioatort atewish on is still heavily concentrated in the west, leading some arabs to hope for partition and sovereignty over the east. they can share functional arrangement in the city, but they cannot share sovereignty. it has to be split. it has to be divided between arab palestinian sovereignty and israeli sovereignty. narrator: in the year 2000, president clinton and ambassador ross helped israeli and palestinian negotiators hammer out many details of an agreement. jerusalem was finally on the table. bulike most rais, primminist bak could not ima divided city. ross argued the palestinian case. at one point i said to him, "mr. prime minister, "you are the one who believes in the concept of separation. "well, look at east jerusalem, "where you have arab neighborhoods "that are exclusively arab neighborhoods,
"where israelis don't live in them, "israelis don't go to them. "what is the logic of keeping them under your sovereignty if you accept the concept of separation?" and the israelis found that to be a pretty compelling argument. narrator: so the negotiators drew maps that would split the city along ethnic lines. the bigger problem came with the oldest part of the city, a zone whose importance was all out of proportion to its size. ross: the old city is one square kilometer. within one square kilometer there are at least 57 holy sites-- holy to three separate faiths. the area is so small that if you spring a leak in one quarter, you have to turn off water in the adjacent quarter. so concepts of sovereignty as they apply to the old city are a little bit more complicated. narrator: at the core are the haram al-sharif for the muslims and the temple mount for the jews. these jews are praying in front of their ancient temple
whose ruins lay buried behind its western wall. on top of those ruins are the holy dome of the rock and the al-aksa mosque. in traditional real estate terms, both sides claim the same ground. a breakthrough required spatial imagination. ross: the jewish quarter extends to the wall. and the muslim quarter envelops where the haram is. and you had... the wall is here, the haram is up here, and the temple would be behind where the wall was. one israeli negotiator actually put it quite well, that for israel there was a dead reality that was extremely important for them to be able to protect, which was underground. it's a dead reality in the sense that nobody lives with it every day except emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. the live reality is what people do every day on the surface where the haram is.
so we were coming up with an approach that was designed to protect the dead reality for israel while also governing the live reality for the palestinians. the israelis in the end again reluctantly accepted, and yasser arafat could not accept. narrator: after arafat's denial, the talks broke down. to israelis, barak failed to deliver peace after offering unprecedented concessions. his opponent, ariel sharon, unleashed arab rage when he brought armed guards to tour the haram al-sharif. ross:it was obviog narrator: tbut ross does not blamepvo. the intifada on sharon. rather it was a failure of palestinians to curb the violence. and it was the ongoing israeli occupation. ross: i think it was the absence of real change in terms of palestinian control, at least in palestinian eyes. the israelis continue to control too many aspects of day-to-day life for the palestinians.
narrator: so will there ever be peace? not soon, according to ross, but if it cos, it will be based on two states, both wh capitals in a divided jerusalem. ross: i do believe that the ideas that president clinton put on the tle will ultimaty provide the base for what will emerge as an outcome. and the reason i say that is that these ideas reflected our best judgment after thousands of hours of debate, discussion, analysis, examination, dissection-- you name it, we did it-- with the sole purpose of trying to determine, what is it that each side truly needed? now, those basic needs are not going to change. narrator: what changes are the leaders. in israel, sharon defeats barak. he comes down hard on palestinian terrorists, but then condemns jewish occupation of arab land. president arafat appoints mahmoud abbas as prime minister
without any real constituency. and after standing back for two years, u.s. president george w. bush specifically calls for a palestinian state as part of the so-called "roadmap for peace." squeezed between hamas on one side and jewish settlers on the other, moderates on all sides wonder if these are the men to finally make jerusalem the capital of two states. in the region of northern africa and southwestern asia, turkey is one of the most strategically located countries in the world. americans learned why when turkey did not allow the u.s. access to invade neighboring iraq, despite nato membership and an offer of $6 billion. but turkey was torn, as they are on many other issues.
are they european or asian? are they secular or islamist? are they democratic or authoritarian? are they urban or rural? here we explore the regional geography of turkey and its largest city. half european, half asian, istanbul is the cultural and commercial heart of turkey. it's a city of great contrasts. the traditional shops in the grand bazaar. and modern, spacious shopping centers with fashionable boutiques. but for thousands of people, marginal street trade is the only source of income.
the poorest among them have built shelters at the edge of the city. the wealthy live on the waterfront in stately apartment buildings. many have jobs in the modern offices of turkish and multinational companies. politics, religion, ethnicity, migration, economics: istanbul, with nearly ten million people, is facing multiple challenges. the city's unique location provides the first clue as to why its fate is of so much interest to other parts of the world. istanbul lies at a crossroads where the north-south axis of rich and poor intersects with the west-east axis of cultural differences. this is where christian europe meets islamic asia. istanbul lies on the bosporus,
the narrow strait that unofficially separates europe from asia. the city has flourished for many centuries as an economic and political center. as constantinople, it was the center of the christian byzantine empire. as istanbul, it was the seat of the turkish-ottoman sultans. after the first world war, the last remnants of the ottoman empire disappeared. turkey, on the losing side, was reduced to its present size. in the 1920s, the political leader ataturk founded the modern turkish state. ankara, to the east, became its new capital. one of ataturk's major goals was economic modernization. development was focused on the cities. the effort led to mass migration from the countryside to urban areas.
many villages were completely abandoned, especially in the 1950s and '60s. ( speaking turkish ) translator: this village of formerly 120 families now only houses 35. these 35 households mainly consist of elderly people-- old-age pensioners. i don't think anyone will stay, seeing what the village has come to. ( man speaking turkish ) translator: in our home area, there is no industry. there is no work. that's why people come to istanbul-- to work for daily wages. ( speaking turkish ) translat: according the census of 1990, istanb had seven million inbitants, but now it is assumed thatheity houses more than ten million people. immigration is at about 300,000 to 400,000 perear. but these are only estimates. narrator: this explosive urban growth results in huge environmental problems.
one is water pollution, caused by an overwhelmed sewage system. garbage disposal is another problem. the mountains of garbage indicate both a rise in purchasing power and consumption and the poverty of those who search through it daily for something to use or sell. after immigrants arrive in the city, they have to struggle for jobs and housing. on the outskirts of istanbul, sultanbeyli was a small village in 1980. now it's a city of over 200,000. many are immigrants living in self-constructed housing. it's a good place to see the relationship between economics and religion and the changing fortunes of political pares a decade ago, the fundamentalist welfare party gained many supporters, including these two brothers.
( speaking turkish ) translator: the welfare party supports the citizens. ( other brother speaking ) translator: in the beginning, we could build here without paying taxes. narrator: like millions of people in istanbul, they have very low incomes, surviving as day laborers or through marginal trade. although religion was important, the welfare party also tried to address economic issues, working at the grassroots level to help people with their everyday problems. others, like many inner-city shopkeepers and tradespeople, regret the lack of traditional values in modern turkish society. for them, the fundamentalist welfare party has another appeal. ( speaking turkish ) translator: they are against drinking alcohol and in favor of islam.
islam is the most important issue in turkey. narrator: most inhabitants of istanbul are muslims, but here, too, we find striking contrasts. some combine their religion with westernized lifestyles. this dovetailing of this consumer society with islamist lifestyle in turkey i think is something that has arisen specifically from the conjuncture of globalizing economics in turkey as well as a relative freedom of expression, and an increasingly educated islamist community-- and increasingly urbanized. i think that it can be, in a way, an export of turkey to other places in the middle east, and i think that it has been. narrator: but many people are fundamentalists and find their identity in islamic traditions. but they are fighting against another tradition here. beginning in the 1920s,
one of ataturk's most significant changes was the formal separation of church and stat since that time, religion is supposed to be a matter of individual choice and conviction. secor: i think that turkey has the potential to be a great model of a state with a muslim majority population and a secular state structure. the legal code in turkey that governs family law is the swiss civil code. it's not the shari'a, the islamic law, which is so oppressive towards women in the family. narrator: over time, the brothers lost faith in the fundamentalist party. ( brother speaking turkish ) translator: the welfare party brings you nothing. only when you work, you can achieve something. narrator: in the 1990s, everyone thought support for the fundamentalist parties would level off. well, it's around 20%. this is the highest they have reached so far.
normally, the old national salvation party had something like 12%, so this means an obvious rise, but there are lots of protest votes in it and for me, this is not a catastrophe still. narrator: by 2002, many people left the welfare party for another fundamentalist party: the justice and development party. and he, too, turks vot more agnn and a stagnant economy than they voted for religion. they helped elect this man, tayyip erdogan, as prime minister with only 34% of the votes. then the u.s. asked to use turkish soil to enter iraq. turkey said no, but appealed unsuccessfully to help with the invasion. it seems turkey has a big problem on its southeast border. for decades, they battled kurdish minorities
that want greater autonomy or even independence. the kurds are the world's largest nation without their own state. with saddam removed, turkey fears the possible brkup of iraq along ethnic and religious lines. in the north, iraq's kurds could control vast oil riches. they mig thespe turkey's kurdish areas to join th under one flag. within turke the ongoing civil war has forced millions to flee to its western cities, just accelerating rural to urban migration. the violence highlights another trend as well: turkey's human rights record. unfortunately, turkey has an abysmal human rights record. torture is all too commonly used. people are all too commonly held for political reasons. and there has been a lot of oppression
towards intellectuals, journalists and others who speak out on issues that the turkish state has been reluctant to face. narrator: human rights, corruption, economic problems and the strength of islam y keep turks from the one thing they want the most: membership ain the european union.am turkey's situation with regards to eventual e.u. membership is one that has continually been a process of moving ahead and stepping back. but turkey also seems to recognize that its economic issues, the size of its population, the size of its agricultural sector may take a longer period. as well, the need to establish some sort of long-lasting and favorable solution to the tensions over human rights-- especially kurdish cultural rights--
has to be something more than just a year or two. so, many observers see turkish accession as moving forward in about 2010. narrator: with istanbul at the center, turkey ecod trlaons may orpoiatorowouthe u. s hetehwest ia ancilyho republis ofhe forr soeton kn turancod trlaons its historalonctions heur.fro, thousands of people come to istanbul to trade. busloads of these merchants arrive and leave every day. they take turkish products back home with them, hoping to sell them for a profit. this dynamic regiol trade, in textis,thing,hoes and similar products, is welcome,