Article Library / Structured Jewish World Dialogue

Jerusalem and the Jewish People: Unity and Division

  • Jerusalem is a crucially important place to engaged Jews worldwide, and a main point of connection between Diaspora Jews and Israel.
  • Many visiting engaged non-Israeli Jews feel “at home” in Jerusalem.
  • JPPI’s 2017 Structured Dialogue with Jewish leaders and highly engaged non-Israeli Jews found that many of them feel that their views should be taken into consideration as the political and cultural future of Jerusalem is shaped.[1]
  • Jewish Dialogue participants, as well as most Israelis, feel that Jerusalem is not moving “in the right direction” mainly because of concerns about Jewish-Arab relations and religious pluralism.
  • Concerns of Jews about Jerusalem reflect, in many ways, their concerns and grievances about Israel’s policies.
  • Haredi demographic growth is more concerning to participants than Arab demographic growth.
  • A majority of JPPI Dialogue participants believe that “all countries ought to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
  • A small majority of them agree that Jerusalem “should never be divided.” A significant majority wants it to be a city with “a clear Jewish majority,” and argue that “the Temple Mount must remain under Israeli jurisdiction.
  • However, in a seemingly contradictory statement, a small majority also argues that “Israel should be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction.”
  • Dialogue participants’ belief that Israel is sincere in seeking peace sharply declined compared to previous Dialogues.
  • Dialogue participants believe that Israel is “strong and thriving,” but are divided about whether the Jewish world outside Israel is strong or “deteriorating and weakening.”