On May 13, 1995, Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini delivered a memorable speech at a rally in Jerusalem sponsored by the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom. Standing under the Old City Wall, in what was no-man's-land before 1967, Husseini said:
"I dream of the day when a Palestinian will say 'Our Jerusalem' and will mean Palestinians and Israelis, and an Israeli will say 'Our Jerusalem' and will mean Israelis and Palestinians."
Husseini's words served as the inspiration for a manifesto, entitled "Our Jerusalem." Drafted by Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom, the final text was published in The Jerusalem Post, and in Ha'aretz, and it was endorsed by some 2000 Israelis. Among them were seven laureates of the prestigious Israel Prize (authors A.B. Yehoshua and Emil Habibi, educator Aryeh (Lova) Eliav, poet Nathan Zach, movie director Ram Levy, literary critic Dan Meron, and sculptor Danny Karavan) as well as the internationally-celebrated musician Lord Yehudi Menuhin and the playwright Yehoshua Sobol. The signatories also include a former cabinet minister (Victor Shem-Tov), and several (ex) Knesset Members, together with the former ambassador, orientalist Prof. Ya'akov Shimoni.
This statement was sponsored by
Jerusalem is ours, Israelis and Palestinians -- Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Our Jerusalem is a mosaic of all the cultures, all the religions and all the periods that enriched the city, from the earliest antiquity to this very day -- Canaanites and Jebusites and Israelites, Jews and Hellenes, Romans and Byzantines, Christians and Muslims, Arabs and Mamelukes, Othmanlis and Britons, Palestinians and Israelis. They and all the others who made their contribution to the city have a place in the spiritual and physical landscape of Jerusalem.
Our Jerusalem must be united, open to all and belonging to all its inhabitants, without borders and barbed-wire in its midst.
Our Jerusalem must be the capital of the two states that will live side by side in this country -- West Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of the State of Palestine.
Our Jerusalem must be the Capital of Peace.
Tel-Aviv 61033, ISRAEL.