Jerusalem and the Saudi Peace Plan

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Saudi Arabia's peace plan has brought warm reaction from Egypt, the European Union and even President Bush. Yet, the plan does not mention, much less resolve, the issue of the holy city of Jerusalem. All sides agree that no peace plan can ever succeed without deciding its status. Sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and they've been fighting for almost 1000 years to control Jerusalem. In 1949, the United Nations designated it as an international city. But in 1967, it fell under Israeli control. Now, in 2002, it remains one of the major stumbling blocks to Middle East peace. As the Saudi peace plan gains momentum, we hear from Jews, Christians, Muslims and Palestinians about competing claims, both religious and political, to the holy city of Jerusalem.

Correction: On this program, Charles Sennott of The Boston Globe said the Vatican supports the United Nations' plan for Jerusalem to be an international city. After a call from the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, Sennott contacted us to say that he was wrong. The Holy See has not supported that plan since 1968, but does advocate a "special statute" which would protect the rights of the three religious communities in Jerusalem.

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Warren Olney