Forty years later, the myth of Jerusalem is splintering





Four decades after the battle [for Jerusalem in 1967], Israeli leaders still refer glowingly to Jerusalem as the "eternal, undivided capital" of the Jewish state. But the mantra is accurate only as myth. Even as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the war this week, a growing number of Israeli voices are saying the once unthinkable: that Jerusalem may never truly be united. The city is now Israel's poorest metropolis; ambitious young people prefer making their living in the country's high-tech corridor along the Mediterranean coast. A vastly disparate standard of living divides Jerusalem's Arabs and Jews, who only rarely mix. A concrete barrier cuts through the city, locking more than 50,000 East Jerusalemites outside the wall. Not a single foreign nation keeps its embassy there anymore. "The story of Jerusalem is a story of decay and deterioration," says historian Tom Segev. "All these dreams of 1967 were actually illusions."

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