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Capital of Israel: Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?

May 20, 2012 at 03:27:38 AM

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem. Israel designated Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, yet most countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv due to ongoing political debate with the Palestinians. This has given rise to an unprecedented situation whereby a sovereign state – Israel – is denied the diplomatic right to choose the location of its capital city.

The U.S. Congress sought to reverse this travesty with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, passed by overwhelming bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate. The act states that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999."

Since then, a parade of U.S. presidents have promised to uphold this pledge. But since the congressional act allows the President to implement a waiver at six-month intervals, that's exactly what has happened every six months since 1995.

This has created a situation whereby politicians, the media, and the world at large routinely ignore the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Last month, the Washington Post printed this ditty:

Obama's more aggressive message this year reflects the increasing concern in Washington, Tel Aviv and other capitals about Iran's enrichment program, which Israel believes will be used to produce a nuclear weapon.

Similarly, the Wall Street Journal has referred to Israel's capital as Tel Aviv, noting the "strains between Washington and Tel Aviv" ("U.S., Israel Spar in Public, But Defense Ties are Strong," May 4, 2010), while CNN referred to "an explosion in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv" ("Blast in Israeli Capital," January 22, 2006).

This one really takes the prize: The London Guardian correctly referred to Jerusalem as Israel's capital - but then printed this retraction/correction:

The caption on a photograph featuring passengers on a tram in Jerusalem... wrongly referred to the city as the Israeli capital. The Guardian style guide states: "Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is."

I'm not sure what can be done about all this, but one young man has taken the fight to court, and just last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that American citizens born in Jerusalem can list their birthplace as "Israel."

Even Republican candidate Ron Paul, long known as a critic of Israel, made this recent statement:

"If Israel wants their capital to be Jerusalem, then the United States should honor that. How would we like it if some other nation said, 'We decided to recognize New York City as your capital instead, so we will build our embassy there'?"

In the meantime, with or without "international approval," the city that King David designated as the capital of Israel and the Jewish people is 45 years unified, 3,000-plus years Jewish, and still going strong. Check out this cool panorama view of modern Jerusalem.

May 20, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 7

(6) jim, September 5, 2012 10:01 PM

trying to change history again? great! keep it up! the world wont hate you for it LOL

(5) Beverly Kurtin, May 21, 2012 10:39 PM

Jerusalem: The ETERNAL Capitol of Israel

Let's face it: Jerusalem is, has and always WILL BE the Capitol of Israel. Show me anywhere in Tenach where it says, "Pray for the piece of Tel Aviv." Don't get eye strain trying to find it since it doesn't exist. My feelings about Jerusalem being even a millimeter of Jerusalem belonging to Arabs is not printable. There is not and has not EVER been any part of any "Arab Nation." The only nation that has ever existed as an independent nation on that land is the STATE OF ISRAEL and prior to that it was Judea. The "media" insists on calling East Jerusalem as "Arab East Jerusalem." THEY LIE, LIE, LIE oh, did I mention that they lie? If I had my druthers, any "reporter" that used that combination of words would be expelled from the State Stat. Where do we find, "Next year in Tel Aviv?" in the Passover Hagaddah? You'll go blind trying to find it. JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITOL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN AND OUT OF THE DIASPORA. WE FACE OUR HOUSES OF WORSHIPS TOWARDS JERUSALEM. The Arabs point their rear ends at Jerusalem while praying toward Mecca. End of message, formerly known as "30{

(4) LVSteveo1, May 20, 2012 9:56 PM

Israel's Capital

What's the big deal - except in certain quarters (i.e. Arab) Jerusalem is generally recognized, and IS Israel's capital. No ands, ifs & buts about this fact. . .

(3) Anonymous, May 20, 2012 6:36 PM

Israel must wake up. Stop showing the Golden Dome as being Jerusalem. This gives the impression that Jerusalem is the capital of the Muslims Palestine. Anyone who does not know that the Dome is built on Jewish Holy Temple Mount, which was desecrated by the Muslims. must really believe that TA is the capital of Israel. The fact that most Embassies are in TA, gives the world the impression that TA is the Capital, and that the Jews are occupying the Muslim Palestinian land. Jews do not build on mosques. STOP SHOWING JERUSALEM WITH THE DOME Show t he Kotel, The walls of the Old City, David's City, Modern Jerusalem. Show the Hurva Syngogue which was one of the 50 synagogues which the Jordan destroyed, but which has now been rebuilt.within the grounds of the O;ld City. NEVER AGAIN SHOW THE GOLDEN DOME.

(2) Anonymous, May 20, 2012 6:21 PM

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