Thu. Oct 18 2018

Legal status of Jerusalem

Dec 09 2017

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The Palestinian Jerusalem is a city of peace, not politics. Jerusalem is equally holy to all Muslims, Christians and Jews. Crazy American President Donald Trump violated its holiness.

The legal status of Jerusalem is defined by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which recommends the city be administered as a separate entity. When Israel applied to be admitted to the UN in 1949, it specifically recognized the legal effect of Resolution 181 on Jerusalem.The US policy since then has treated Jerusalem as city whose fate must be decided by negotiation, and not by force.

During the Six-Day war of 1967 Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem, and later it annexed the city of Jerusalem in 1980.  However, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, adopted by 14 votes to none, declared the law null and void. No foreign country today has an embassy in Jerusalem.

U.S. policy has long refrained from recognizing Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, and it always has been. In 1980, Israel illegally declared the city of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. In 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision reaffirming U.S. practice that forbids Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their country of birth on passports.

Tel Aviv, and not Jerusalem, is the capital of Israel. Only two countries around the world, the Czech Republic and Colombia, have recognized it as such. Countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and all European nations recognize only Tel Aviv as the capital, and hence maintain their embassies there.

Israel's leaders are so arrogant that they believe in the notion might is right. Israel is very powerful and thinks it can do whatever it wants unchallenged, even if its action is, in fact, unjustified. President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is a self-proclaimed expert on the Middle East, will not attend an open house if they know the house was built on stolen land. Then why did they both bend backwards to appease Israel by cementing Israeli occupation and sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem? 

Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would, without question, be very unwise. It would only exacerbate, rather than diminish, tension in the Middle East.

Mahmoud el-Yousseph

Mahmoud el-Yousseph

Mahmoud el-Yousseph is a Retired USAF Veteran from Westerville, Ohio.

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