In 1950, Israel proclaimed Western Jerusalem as its capital – the first time in history since Malki Tzedek (Genesis 14) that the city served as a political capital of any nation.
After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel regained and reunited the entirety of the Holy City – and UN Security Council Resolution 242 authorized Israel to retain all its newly-liberated land until “secure and recognized boundaries” were attained. This resolution, which says nothing about Israel’s presence in and control of Jerusalem, has been the basis for all peace talks ever since.
Demographically, Jerusalem has long unquestioningly belonged to the Jewish people. The city has had a Jewish majority for 150 years. When the late chief rabbi Avraham Shapira met with President George H.W. Bush in 1992, the latter was surprised to hear that his guest was a seventh-generation Jerusalemite, going back to the pioneering students of the Vilna Gaon.
International law expert and jurist Stephen Schwebel, who later became president of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, wrote in 1970 that “Israel has better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt.”
In conclusion: We can see that Rabin’s statement cited above does not at all belie his secular, dovish orientation; it simply expresses the indestructible, all-embracing attachment of his people to a very special city.
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