Positions on Jerusalem

Positions on Jerusalem

Israel has "de facto" control over all of Jerusalem. However, there are many differing legal and diplomatic positions on Jerusalem."Brian Whitaker. " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4053917,00.html Rivals for holy city may have to turn to God] ." "Guardian Unlimited". August 22, 2000; "Marilyn Henry. " [http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/12173/edition_id/234/format/html/displaystory.html Disney response on Jerusalem exhibit calms Arabs] ." "Jerusalem Post Service" October 1, 1999; Deborah Sontag. "Two Dreams of Jerusalem Converge in a Blur" "New York Times". May 21, 2000.]
* Others claim part or all of Jerusalem as Al Quds, and more specifically the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabel Mukaber,cite web|url=http://www.observer.com/2008/luxury-condos-american-jews-arab-east-jerusalem|title=Luxury Condos for American Jews (in Arab East Jerusalem) - observer.com|last=Mitnick|first=Joshua|date= 2003-01-03|publisher=The New York Observer|accessdate=2008-09-07] as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
* ManyFact|date=September 2008 United Nations General Assembly members including most Arab states, support the Palestinian claim.
* Most Jews claim all of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, as it is the site of the Holy Temple.
*"De jure," the majority of UN member states and most international organisations do not accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital,Fact|date=September 2008 nor Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem. Embassies are generally located in Tel Aviv, which served as the temporary capital of Israel during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem in 1948.
*Within Israeli jurisprudence, Jerusalem is the "de jure" capital of the State of Israel. [In 1980, the Israeli Knesset passed a Basic Law to establish the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.]

Israeli position

According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Since 1004 B.C.E. when King David established Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation, there has remained a constant and enduring Jewish presence in the city, as well as a vigorous spiritual attachment to the city." [ [http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/1990_1999/1999/3/The%20Status%20of%20Jerusalem The Status of Jerusalem] , Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published March 14, 1999.] Israel regards unified Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people. This consistent position has been the declared view of all Israeli governments, left-wing and right-wing.

Israel also maintains that only Israel has proven to be committed to freedom of worship for all. Israel notes that during the 19 year Jordanian occupation, all Jewish sites in the city were destroyed, desecrated, or isolated:

* The entire Jewish Quarter of the Old City and its 68 synagogues, including the Hurva Synagogue, was deliberately blown up by Jordanian forces.Fact|date=August 2008
* Jewish cemeteries were desecrated, including the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and their tombstones removed for use as construction material.Fact|date=August 2008
* The Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus was isolated and closedFact|date=August 2008, although under Israeli control.

Israel also notes that these acts were committed in full view of United Nations observers who never intervened, nor were any agreements promising access to holy sites ever enforced. Israelis cite the recent destruction of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus and Shalom Al Israel synagogue in Jericho by Palestinians as examples of what will happen if the city comes under non-Israeli rule.

All Israeli governments since 1967 have encouraged large-scale construction projects in the eastern part of the city, resulting in the Jewish population of East Jerusalem, which is 24% of the Jewish population of the entire city. However, various Israeli governments have agreed to rationalization of the municipal borders of the city, in order to enable the outlying Arab quarters to be merged with Arab urban areas in the West Bank in order to become the capital of a future Palestinian state under the name of al-Quds.

Some Israeli Law experts claim that Israel has sovereignty over East Jerusalem, as well as over the rest of the West Bank since Jordan did not have a legal sovereignty over the territory, and thus Israel was entitled in an act of self defense during the Six Day War to "fill the vacuum". Israel's sovereignty over "West Jerusalem" is a result of the similar vacuum which was created when the British rule was over, and Israel's actions in 1948 constituted self-defense. [Yehuda Z. Blum, "The Juridical status of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, 1974);id., "The missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria", 3 Israel Law Review (1968), pages 279-301]

In 1980, the Israeli Knesset approved a Basic Law, which is a foundational statute in the country's unwritten constitution. This 1980 law is entitled "Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel." The law establishes Jerusalem as the country's official capital. The Basic Law has four clauses. First, that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." Second, that "Jerusalem is the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court." The third clause deals with protection of "Holy Places" and the fourth clause deals with administrative matters. [ [http://www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/basic10_eng.htm Text of the Basic Law on Jerusalem] ]

Consistent with the 1980 law, all the branches of Israeli government are seated in Jerusalem, including the Presidential, Legislative, Judicial, and Administrative branches. The city is also home to a number of important Israeli government buildings, including the Knesset and Israeli Supreme Court.

Palestinian position

The Palestinians claim Jerusalem ("al-Quds") as the capital of a future Palestinian state. In the Palestine Liberation Organization's Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988, Jerusalem is stated to be the capital of the State of Palestine. In 2000 the Palestinian Authority passed a law designating East Jerusalem as such, and in 2002 this law was ratified by President Arafat. [ [http://english.people.com.cn/200210/06/eng20021006_104530.shtml Arafat Signs Law Making Jerusalem Palestinian Capital] , People's Daily, published October 6, 2002.] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2302961.stm Arafat names Jerusalem as capital] , BBC News, published October 6, 2002.] According to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information, the official Palestinian position on Jerusalem includes four points: [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20060212195415/http://www.minfo.gov.ps/permenant/English/Jerusalem/Pal_Official.htm The Palestinian Official Position] , Palestinian National Authority, Ministry of Information, copy from Archive.org, retrieved June 20, 2007.]
* That East Jerusalem is occupied territory according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and is part of the territory over which a Palestinian state, when established, shall exercise sovereignty (against UN General Assembly Resolution 181).

* According to previously signed agreements with Israel, the status of "Jerusalem" (and not specifically East Jerusalem) is subject to permanent status negotiations.
* Jerusalem should be an open city that is freely accessible, and should remain undivided regardless of the resolution of the question of sovereignty.
* A Palestinian state would be committed to freedom of worship for all and take all measures to protect and safeguard sites of religious significance.

In the mid 1990s, a proposal was floated by Dr. Mahmoud Abbas (today the President of the Palestinian Authority) and Dr. Yossi Beilin (who served as an Israeli government minister in various periods during the 1990s), among others, under which the Palestinian urban mass of East Jerusalem, comprising of part of the eastern Jerusalem areas within the present municipal borders and urban areas currently part of the West Bank (such as Abu Dis and al-Eizariya), could be redefined as al-Quds, with the remaining Arab East Jerusalem residents being defined as Israeli residents and Palestinian citizens. These proposals did not constitute a plan to resolve the conflict over Jerusalem, as the status of the Old City, the most contentious aspect of the conflict, was not fully addressed.

United Nations position

The position of the United Nations on the question of Jerusalem is contained in General Assembly resolution 181(11) and subsequent resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council concerning this question. A total of six UN security council resolutions on Israel have denounced or declared invalid Israel's attempts to unify the city, though none of them have been Chapter VII resolutions.

The UN Security Council, in UNSC resolution 478, declared that the 1980 Jerusalem Law declaring unified Jerusalem, including annexed East Jerusalem, as Israel's "eternal and indivisible" capital was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith" (14-0-1, with United States abstaining). The resolution advised member states to withdraw their diplomatic representation from the city as a punitive measure.

Before this resolution, thirteen countries maintained their embassies in Jerusalem: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Netherlands, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela. Following the UN resolution, all thirteen moved their embassies to Tel Aviv. Costa Rica and El Salvador moved theirs back to Jerusalem in 1984. Costa Rica moved its embassy back to Tel Aviv in 2006 followed by El Salvador a few weeks later. [ [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1154525889070 Costa Rica to relocate embassy to TA] , Jerusalem Post, published August 17, 2006.] [ [http://english.people.com.cn/200608/26/eng20060826_297044.html El Salvador to move embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv] , People's Daily, published August 26, 2006.] No international embassy remains in Jerusalem, although Paraguay and Bolivia have theirs in Mevasseret Zion, a suburb 10 km west of the city. [ [http://www.science.co.il/Embassies.asp Embassies and Consulates in Israel] , Israel Science and Technology Homepage, retrieved June 20, 2007.]

The Netherlands maintains an office in Jerusalem serving mainly Israeli citizens. Other foreign governments base Consulate General offices in Jerusalem, including Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States. These consular offices primarily serve the Palestinian population of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and their Consuls General do not submit letters of credentials to the Israeli President or foreign ministry, but instead, deliver them to the administrative governor of Jerusalem. [ [http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029394365&a=KCountryProfile&aid=1031532656768 Country Profile: Israel] ] Since the President of Israel resides in Jerusalem and confirms the foreign diplomats, the ambassadors have to travel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to swear in upon being appointed.

European Union position

It is the EU's position that a fair solution should be found to the complex issue of Jerusalem, in the context of the two-state solution set out in the roadmap, taking into account the political and religious concerns of all parties.

"The EU opposes measures which would prejudge the outcome of permanent status negotiations on Jerusalem, basing its policy on the principles set out in UN Security Council Resolution 242, notably the impossibility of acquisition of territory by force.

The EU is concerned that Israeli policies are reducing the possibility of reaching a final status agreement on Jerusalem and are in violation of both Israel’s Roadmap obligations and international law.

The EU has also called for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, in accordance with the Road Map, in particular the Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce, and has called on the Israeli government to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, especially concerning work permits, access to education and health services, building permits, house demolitions, taxation and expenditure." [ [http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/mepp/faq/index.htm#11, The EU & the Middle East Peace Process: FAQ] , European Commission, retrieved June 20, 2007.]

United States position

The United States "Jerusalem Embassy Act", passed by Congress in 1995, 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, the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv is being suspended by the President semi-annually, each time stating that " [the] Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem". As a result of the Embassy Act, official U.S. documents and web sites refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 states:

:"The Congress maintains its commitment to relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and urges the President [...] to immediately begin the process of relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem". [" [http://www.mideastweb.org/jeruembassy2002.htm Jerusalem: Provisions of Foreign Relations Authorization act of 2003 HR 1646] ." MidEast Web. October 1, 2002.]

However, U.S. presidents, including President Bush, have argued that Congressional resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem are merely "advisory", stating that it "impermissibly interferes with the President's constitutional authority". [ [http://www.state.gov/m/rm/rls/rm/2002/13888.htm Statement on FY 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act] , Statement by the President, released by the White House, Office of the Press Secretary, September 30, 2002.] The U.S. Constitution reserves the conduct of foreign policy to the President and resolutions of Congress which make foreign policy are arguably invalid for that reason. The U.S. Congress, however, has the "power of the purse", and could prohibit the expenditure of funds on any embassy located outside Jerusalem. The U.S. Congress has not taken this step.

The U.S. Department of State maintains a Consulate General in Jerusalem. The Consulate is building an expansion in the neighborhood of Talpiot to provide visa and other consular services to residents of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories. The construction site is often mistaken as a site for the future US Embassy; however there are currently no plans to use this location in this manner. ["Diplomatic construction", Jerusalem Post, published December 1, 2005.]

U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem do not have "Israel" written on their passports as their country of birth, but rather "Jerusalem". U.S. Congress passed a bill in 2002 which would allow citizens to choose to have "Israel" listed as their country of birth, but the President regards the bill as advisory rather than mandatory and has not implemented its provisions. The issue is, as of 2006, still pending before the courts, following a lawsuit filed in 2003. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3117182.stm Powell sued over Jerusalem's status] , BBC News, published September 17, 2003.] [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=686112&contrassID=25&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=1&listSrc=Y&art=1 The Jerusalem passport will have its day in court] , Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz, published February 22, 2006.] A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2007, but has not been voted on as of June 2007. [ [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?tab=main&bill=h110-895 U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 895 (bill status)] , GovTrack.us, published February 7, 2007.]

On June 5, 2007, the U.S House of Representatives passed concurrent resolution 152 by voice vote, stating that Congress: [ [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hc110-152 U.S. House of Representatives, H. Con. Res. 152 (bill status)] , GovTrack.us, published June 5, 2007.] [ [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hc110-152 U.S. House of Representatives, H. Con. Res. 152 (text of bill)] , GovTrack.us, published June 5, 2007.]
#congratulates the citizens of Israel on the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War in which Israel defeated enemies aiming to destroy the Jewish State;
#congratulates the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Israel on the 40th anniversary of the reunification of that historic city;
#commends those former combatant states of the Six Day War, Egypt and Jordan, who in subsequent years had the wisdom and courage to embrace a vision of peace and coexistence with Israel;
#commends Israel for its administration of the undivided city of Jerusalem for the past 40 years, during which Israel has respected the rights of all religious groups;
#reiterates its commitment to the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions; and
#urges the Palestinians and Arab countries to join with Israel in peace negotiations to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, including realization of the vision of two democratic states, Israeli and Palestinian, living side-by-side in peace and security.This bill is a legislative proposal that does not require the signature of the President and does not have the force of law. The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate to be voted on June 7, 2007.

United Kingdom position

According to the United Kingdom, Jerusalem was supposed to be a "corpus separatum", or international city administered by the UN. This was never set up: immediately after the UNGA resolution partitioning Palestine, Israel occupied West Jerusalem and Jordan occupied East Jerusalem (including the Old City). The UK recognised the "de facto" control of Israel and Jordan, but not sovereignty. In 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, which the UK considers an illegal military occupation. The UK Embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. In East Jerusalem there is a Consulate-General, with a Consul-General who is not accredited to any state: this is an expression of the view that no state has sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The UK believes that the city’s status has yet to be determined, and maintains that it should be settled in an overall agreement between the parties concerned, but considers that the city should not again be divided. The Declaration of Principles and the Interim Agreement, signed by Israel and the PLO on 13 September 1993 and 28 September 1995 respectively, left the issue of the status of Jerusalem to be decided in the ‘permanent status’ negotiations between the two parties.

[http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1057335917798 UK Foreign Office position on Jerusalem]

See also

*Six-Day War (1967 Arab-Israeli War).
*Green Line (Israel)
*List of places in Jerusalem
*List of East Jerusalem locations
*Rule of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan
*West Bank
*East Jerusalem


External links

Jerusalem maps

B'Tselem - Maps: [http://www.btselem.org/English/Maps/Index.asp]
*East Jerusalem: [http://www.btselem.org/Download/Map_of_the_Isolation_of_East_Jerusalem_Eng.pdf] .
*Israeli West Bank barrier with detailed, greater Jerusalem section (when viewed at high resolution): [http://www.btselem.org/Download/Separation_Barrier_Map_Eng.pdf]

Jewish Virtual Library:
*Greater Jerusalem: [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/greaterjerusalem.html]

"The area known as 'Greater' Jerusalem usually refers to an approximately 100 square mile space surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem. This area includes both West and East Jerusalem, including the adjacent neighborhoods outside of the municipal boundaries of the city. ... Regarding the route of Israel’s security fence in the Jerusalem area, there have been a few competing strategies: to reinforce the municipal boundaries of the city, to alter the demographics in Israel’s favor, and to permanently draw the lines for 'Greater' Jerusalem."

*Metropolitan and Greater Jerusalem: [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/jer97map.html]
*Arab East Jerusalem with greater Jerusalem: [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/eastjermap1.html] .
*Jerusalem municipal boundaries: [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/jermunimap.html]
*2000 Camp David Summit map. Israeli proposal for the division and expansion of Jerusalem: [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/jerdivide.html]

"The Israeli proposal included the following main points: 1. Jewish areas outside Jerusalem's municipal boundaries would be annexed to the city, including such population centers as Givat Ze'ev, Ma'aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. (Gush Etzion is a major settlement block just south of Jerusalem, and is not shown on the map)."

IRIS.org (Information Regarding Israel's Security).
*Maps of Areas A, B, and C. 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords: [http://www.iris.org.il/oslo_2000.htm]

Map Centre of OCHA oPt (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory): [http://www.ochaopt.org/?module=displaysection&section_id=96&format=html]
*East Jerusalem - closure map. March 2007: [http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/EastJerusalem_closure_March07.pdf] .

Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA). Jerusalem maps section: [http://www.passia.org/jerusalem/maps/0_M_A_P_S.htm]
*Greater Jerusalem: [http://www.passia.org/images/pal_facts_MAPS/WallWeb/pages/FMFMEJERPas3.htm] [http://www.passia.org/images/pal_facts_MAPS/WallWeb/index.htm] .
*Jerusalem municipal boundaries: [http://www.passia.org/palestine_facts/MAPS/images/jer_maps/Jlem1947-2000.html]
*Old City and Holy/Historical Basin area: [http://www.passia.org/palestine_facts/MAPS/images/jer_maps/Holy-Basin.htm] . At the 2001 Taba Summit Israeli negotiators presented to the Palestinians the idea of creating a special international regime for the 'Holy Basin' -- an area including the Old City and some areas outside the walls including the Mount of Olives cemetery.

Other links

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs study on the Division of Jerusalem. Nadav Shagrai, "Jerusalem: The Dangers of Division. An Alternative to Separation from the Arab Neighborhoods" (2008): [http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=2&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=582&PID=0&IID=2646&TTL=Jerusalem:_The_Dangers_of_Division]

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