Israel has already surrounded East Jerusalem with concentric rings of colonies on West Bank territory outside but contiguous to the municipal borders of the city. The plan, already well advanced, is to integrate these colonies with united municipal Jerusalem in order to create Greater or Metropolitan Jerusalem. A great advantage and indeed the prime objective of this strategy for Israel is that the more Palestinian territory that is alienated from the West Bank in the name of Metropolitan Jerusalem, the less the physical, political, and psychological space that will be left for the Palestinians there in the West Bank. One can count on Netanyahu to carry this strategy to its very farthest extent.
The area of David’s ancient capital per se constitutes less than 1 percent of today’s so-called united Jerusalem. No religious, historical, economic, or security considerations informs the extended municipal boundaries of East Jerusalem, much less those of Metropolitan Likudist Jerusalem. What does inform them is ruthless gerrymandering in the service of solipsistic nationalism and a spirit of defiance of world opinion.