Jewish reverence for Jerusalem is a special case because the city is the spiritual center of the Jewish people, but Jews have no less affection for, and identify with, hundreds of historic places throughout Judea and Samaria. The land of Israel isn’t some historic amusement park of sentimentality, or a romantic Hollywood of memories. It is at the core of Jewish consciousness.
But implying that Jerusalem is more worthy than other areas of Eretz Yisrael denies Zionism, Judaism, and Jewish history. It’s also a strategic trap. Sacrificing some communities in order to save others, amputating hilltops and settlements to assuage Arabs and the international community, only encourages more radical demands and undermines Israel’s raison d’etre. The struggle over settlements isn’t about an “agenda for peace,” but Israel’s destiny and security.
Obama has set the rules of the game: if settlements are wrong because they are built on conquered land, then Jerusalem does not belong to Jews. And by those criteria, nothing does.