Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Our Capital Has Always Been Jerusalem Israel Has the Right to Name Its Capital, Just as Every Other Nation Does

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Our Capital Has Always Been Jerusalem Israel Has the Right to Name Its Capital, Just as Every Other Nation Does

Article excerpt

The inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is an important recognition of Israel's inherent right to govern itself. It is also the start of a new era, one in which the international community's relationship is based on reality and fact, not fantasy and fiction.

President Donald Trump's decision to allow the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act to move forward is historic. At the most basic level, it states what has been obvious to Jews for thousands of years: Jerusalem is, has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people. This notion was formally adopted by Israel when it named Jerusalem its capital in December 1949. For too many years, however, foreign countries continued to site their embassies in Tel Aviv, a symbolic statement with a clear message - a refusal to recognize Jerusalem, even West Jerusalem, as the country's capital.

By moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the United States is making a statement: Israel is no longer a second-class country whose capital isn't recognized by the world. Although we are a small country, we have long punched above our weight in the international arena. By acknowledging Jerusalem as our capital, President Donald Trump has given us the respect and dignity all other nations have enjoyed for a long time.

We would never question Britain's, Germany's or Canada's choice of their capital city. So we would never dream of locating our embassies anywhere but in London, Berlin or Ottawa. Capital cities are determined by the governments of the states, not by outsiders or visiting diplomats. Yet even though Israel has long made clear that Jerusalem is its capital, we have been disrespected and our decision ignored. Now, that starts to change.

Yes, we might disagree with many governments about the future of East Jerusalem. …

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