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The Case for Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, by David R. Parsons, ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman

Jerusalem has entered a new season following the decision by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to officially recognize the city as the capital of Israel and to move the American Embassy there. This is a time for renewed optimism among those who truly care about the openness, peace and well-being of Jerusalem, as other nations must now consider whether to follow the lead of the United States in finally giving the city the universal respect it so richly deserves. The merits for doing so are clear and convincing.

The U.S. Shift in Policy
On 6 December 2017, President Trump granted de jure recognition to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced that the U.S. intends to move its Embassy there. He explained that this decision left open for negotiations the final borders of the city, and was simply a common sense recognition of the reality that Jerusalem has served as the de facto capital of Israel for seventy years now and will remain so even in any final peace deal with the Palestinians. He also stated that this shift in policy was grounded in four decades of overwhelming bipartisan support for such a move in the U.S. Congress, including its landslide passage of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. It also was in keeping with the campaign promises of the three preceding American presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. H. Bush and Barack Obama), which they had each left unfulfilled.

This historic and courageous decision has begun the process of finally righting an historic injustice by the international community, in that Israel is the only country in the world denied the sovereign right of every nation to designate the city of its choice to serve as its capital and seat of government. How this discriminatory treatment of Israel arose bears careful review.