The situation in Jerusalem is spiraling out of control. Tensions–mounting since mid-summer–have been heightened by settlement announcements, confrontations on the Temple Mount and other provocations. Following last week’s terror attack, which took the lives of two people, and the shooting death of a Palestinian-American by the IDF, the situation has reached a boiling point.
Daniel Seidemann, one of the world’s top experts on Jerusalem, joined us for a briefing call on the acceleration of efforts to change the city’s demographics, what they mean for the two-state solution, and what–if anything–can be done to ease tensions.
About Daniel Seidemann: Daniel has been a practicing attorney in Jerusalem and a partner in a firm specializing in commercial law since 1987. Since 1991, he has also specialized in legal and public issues in East Jerusalem. In particular, he has worked on issues and cases related to government and municipal policies and practices, representing Israeli and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem before the statutory Planning Boards regarding development issues. Key cases have included the takeover of properties in Silwan, the legality of the Har Homa expropriation and town plan, the Ras el Amud town plan, the closing of Orient House, administrative demolition orders, denial of free education in East Jerusalem, etc. He has argued more than 20 Jerusalem-related cases before the Israeli Supreme Court.
Since 1994, Mr. Seidemann has participated in numerous Track II talks on Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2000-2001, he served in an informal advisory capacity to the final status negotiations, serving as a member of a committee of experts commissioned by Prime Minister Barak’s office to generate sustainable arrangements geared to implement the emerging political understandings with the Palestinians.
Mr. Seidemann is frequently consulted by governmental bodies in Israel, Palestine and in the international community on matters pertaining to Israeli-Palestinian relations and developments in Jerusalem. He has been conducting ongoing discussions on Jerusalem issues within the Arab world and with Christian faith communities in North America and Europe. He has participated in numerous Jerusalem-related projects, colloquia and back channel work.