Why Israel’s capital and not ‘Palestine’s’?


My answer to a Facebook question. I only realised after that the question really wasn’t addressed to me but to intellectuals and politicians in Arab states, a status I clearly don’t hold. The information is still valid. Pity to waste the effort.The reasons for recognising Israel’s claim and not Palestine’s are mostly mirror images of each other. They are the same practical reasons that any city becomes capital of any country.

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Jerusalem is the seat of government of the state of Israel. Its parliament is there, as is the official residence of the head of state and the prime minister. They have been there for almost 70 years. All government departments except one are situated there.

Possession is 9/10th of the law and Israel possesses 100% of Jerusalem. Even before June 1967, when Jordan had occupied part of Jerusalem, expelling its Jewish majority, all the elements that made it seat of government and therefore capital were located in the Israeli part of Jerusalem.

The same ambassadors who make a show of not moving their embassies have no problem presenting their credentials to the President of Israel in Jerusalem. This is de facto recognition.

Anwar Sadat, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and even Jimmy Carter spoke in the Knesset (parliament) there as did dozens of other heads of states. They knew that they were in Israel’s capital even if their government’s formal position was otherwise.

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Palestine is not now a state by accepted legal definition nor is it recognised by America so there is no compelling case to even consider what its capital might be. Check out Article 1 and 2 of the Montevideo Convention when you have time. However even if Palestine fulfilled the qualifications of customary international law, its seat of government is in Ramallah not Jerusalem.

No act of Congress nor unfulfilled election promise obliges anyone to accept Palestine’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

However Trump is both fulfilling the requirements of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, an act of Congress, as he is constitutionally obliged and delivering on promises he made during his election campaign.

That’s rare for politicians, isn’t it?

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Pres. Clinton and even Obama made the same promises as candidates but conveniently forgot them when elected.

The delay in making this declaration was frankly a six decades long insult to a close American ally and partner in many things. Palestine is very happy to accept American money but does anyone even fantasise it as a U.S. ally or expect America to receive even one cent of those $ billions back in any form?

Commonsense findings of the Jerusalem Embassy Act

  • Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may assign its own capital.
  • Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
  • The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.
  • This year [1965] marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected.
  • The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic
    friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.
  • The United States conducts official meetings and other
    business in the city of Jerusalem in de facto recognition of
    its status as the capital of Israel.
  • In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th
    anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King
    David’s entry.

Israel’s legal, moral and historical claims to Jerusalem as its capital city trump (no pun intended) Palestine’s.

First published at Five Minutes for Israel

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One comment

  1. Considering the very nature of politics of being exclusively fluid, with no methods, principles, ventured opinions of all kind to stave off established trends, almost all arguments against the status of Jerusalem are only dependent on the mechanics of the defining actual, tangible forces in the places and at the times of all and any events.
    Procedural statistics, such as number of votes cum opinions registered at any of the international fora, such as the overwhelming majority of UN member states not being at all happy with what the greatest, most decisive World power, had decided, are simply irrelevant, worth NOTHING.
    More to the point, if the United States have decided/stated that Jerusalem is the Capital City of Israel, in complete resonance with the most powerful State in the Middle Eastern region where Jerusalem doesn’t just “happen” to be, therefore, Israel, then Jerusalem is, without considering any objection, the CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH STATE and that means anything that topographically means Jerusalem, all Cardinal points, East, West, South, North and the ones in-between.
    We do indulge in all manner of communication in all kinds of places, including this most respectable one and we argue, mostly quite diligently our, Zionist, position. When it comes to tachles, however, those charged with upholding Zionist values on the ground – see Israel – , go about their daily business regardless of what may be said contrary to their definite, resolute, irreversible stand.
    Even I, not given to arguing just for the sake of it, a very sedated intellect, will occasionally peg on a comment that would irritate my rock solid disposition. I say stuff as a necessary dialectical gymnastics, come up with lines meant to deride senseless musings, crack subtle or not quite, fantastic humorous lines – can’t help being sooo funny if I wanna – but, when I rest my irresistible, attractive head on my pillow, I says to meself , “mate , once again, you sorted this one good and proper !!”. I leave the rest to MY Government in Jerusalem to steadfastly conclude all worldly matters , as ordained from Above. And they are doing just metzuyan, with a bishele of hilfe from our haverim, yes, the great and, just as invincible and perfect Amerike.
    Beat that !!