web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Does Israel Have A Capital?


Keeping-Jerusalem

The U.S. presidential campaign is upon us, and one of the central issues – at least based on a perusal of recent press reports – is none other than the Jewish people’s right to their own capital.

One might have thought this issue had been put to bed decades ago. The Jewish nation, one of the world’s oldest peoples, long ago had a thriving state, with its capital in Jerusalem, known also as the City of David. There it built its holy Temples, from there the Prophet Isaiah promised that Torah would come forth, and to there Jews from all over the world made pilgrimage three times each year.

After this holy city was razed and emptied of most of its citizens, it spent centuries in destruction and desolation. The exiled Jewish nation, too, spent this period in bleakness, placing on hold its dream of regaining its capital while it concentrated on surviving pogroms and expulsion.

When the Jewish nation finally began returning to its homeland over a century ago, and finally merited to re-establish its state over 60 years ago, its birthright claim to its capital city should have been a no-brainer. Yet the U.S., the country that was first to recognize its renewed existence in 1948, only minutes after it was declared, simply refuses to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Make no mistake: We’re not talking about the areas liberated in 1967, sometimes known as “eastern Jerusalem.” The reference is to the western portion of the city, which Arabs do not even pretend to claim (other than as part of their general claim on the entire Land of Israel). Yes, it is western Jerusalem that the U.S. cannot bring itself to call the capital of its loyal ally.

Pressed to comment on why the Obama Administration cannot connect Jerusalem with Israel and the Jewish people, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said clearly: “It’s the view of this administration that the capital should be determined in final status negotiations between parties.”

This statement must be carefully analyzed, for it has significant ramifications. Just as a man attracts a dog by holding a bone just out of its reach, and continually moving it away as the dog nears him, so too, President Obama renders Israel’s choice of its capital city dependent on the elusive and ever-distancing goal of successful “final status negotiations.”

In other words, the Arab parties have the final say on whether the U.S. recognizes our capital. Only if they agree not only to enter the final-status stage – unlikely enough – but also to acknowledge, at any point, that they can be termed “successful,” will the Obama administration agree to say, “Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

What parts of its homeland will Israel have to forsake, and how many Jews will it have to expel, in order to reach this goal?

Obama’s stance on Yerushalayim may not be the official American position for long. Republican candidate Mitt Romney seems to feel that Israel need pay no additional price for the privilege of determining its capital. During his recent visit to Israel, he stated several times that Jerusalem is clearly the capital of the Jewish state. “It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” he said in one speech.

Emergency Committee for Israel executive-director Noah Pollak writes that “Romney’s position has implications far beyond the status of Jerusalem: It is a pledge to stop subordinating American policy and conforming America’s treatment of her allies to the desires of the ‘international community.’ ”

We should be thankful that at least the U.S. has not determined that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, as the Guardian newspaper in Great Britain recently attracted notoriety for doing. When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was recently asked by a reporter whether Israel’s capital was Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, he did not answer at all – even though he was asked a number of times. Instead, he merely repeated with discomfort, “You know our position, it has not changed.”

The future of Yerushalayim as Israel’s united and complete capital is far from assured – at least in terms of the position of the United States. Efforts to promote this cause are thus more important than ever.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Does Israel Have A Capital?”

  1. Uziah Isaak says:

    YERUSHALAYIM WAS IS AND WILL BE THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL,, FOR EVER AND EVER,, HASHEM BLESS ISRAEL….

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

48 years ago this week the IDF with heroism & Divine providence liberated our holy capital Jerusalem

Keeping-Jerusalem

“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”

Negotiations with the PA raises fears that some of Jerusalem will be handed over to foreign control

All Zionist parties must demonstrate that a united Jewish Yerushalayim is an absolute imperative

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Despite its name, the Muslim Quarter was home to many Jews and 6 yeshivot in the 19th century

A unified Jerusalem’s most threatened by a leading Prime Minister candidate: Labor’s Yitzchak Herzog

As Israel slowly loses its grip on parts of its capital, the Arabs are working to fill the vacuum.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/does-israel-have-a-capital/2012/08/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: