A New Jerusalem

TimeWatch Editorial
January 02, 2017

As you have seen in our previous editorials on the subject, the city of Jerusalem is of great importance to the Zionists and Evangelicals. The implications for this geographical location are enormous. These two groups are convinced that Jesus will not return until, the Jews are safely returned to Israel, that the nation itself must be reestablished, and that the temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt. There is, however, among all the challenges facing Israel, as we have seen in the very recent actions taken by the United Nations, there is one more continuing problem. At present, the city of Jerusalem is not under the total control of Israel. On December 16, 2016, Time Magazine published an article entitled “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Recognized as Israel’s Capital.” The article was written by Kate Samuelson, who gives a clear vision in answer to the question stated in the title. She begins this way.

“After the Second World War, the State of Israel was established and gradually recognized ‘de jure’ — or lawfully — by most of the world’s countries. However, although the U.N. recognized the state of Israel in 1948, allowing it to become a member state, it placed the whole city of Jerusalem under international control (a ‘corpus separatum’) on Dec. 13 1949. Despite this, most governmental offices moved to the city.” Kate Samuelson, “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Recognized as Israel’s Capital.” Time Magazine, December 16, 2016

Now of course we have previously dealt with the establishment of the State of Israel. It was established by the Allies after the Second World War was ended by removing the Palestinians from their location and creating the Nation of Israel. This then was followed by a number of military confrontations between the nations surrounding the area and the Israelis backed and supported by the United States. There were military confrontations in 1948, 1953, 1967 and 1973. However, Jerusalem was not at that time settled by the Jews. Notice how Kate Samuelson continues.

“But in 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israel captured the eastern section of Jerusalem, which Jordan presided over, and declared Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration would be applied to the whole city. Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem has been considered illegal under international law and was condemned by the U.N., as well as other states.” Kate Samuelson, “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Recognized as Israel’s Capital.” Time Magazine, December 16, 2016

It is very easy to see how this disagreement regarding the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, began the long history of animosity which to this day exists between Israel and the United Nations. Things further deteriorated when:

“In 1980, the Knesset declared that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel,” but this law was declared null by the U.N., which called for the removal of the remaining embassies in the city. A statement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the resolution “unjust” and “additional proof that the U.N. organization has been converted into an instrument in the hands of Israel’s enemies in their war against her existence and independence.” Kate Samuelson, “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Recognized as Israel’s Capital.” Time Magazine, December 16, 2016

One of the frustrations that Israel has had to endure is that the nations of the world for the most part have aligned themselves with the expressed position of the UN on the international administration of the City of Jerusalem and therefore:

“Countries continued to locate their foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, situated on the Mediterranean coast, and the refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli territory has become a near-universal policy among Western nations. To this day, no countries have an embassy in Jerusalem although Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump have all called for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Both Clinton and Bush backpedaled once they were in the Oval Office—but Trump seems to be signaling he is willing to do what they would not.” Kate Samuelson, “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Recognized as Israel’s Capital.” Time Magazine, December 16, 2016

That particular promise by the incoming President Elect is recorded in the Business Insider, September 25, 2016 in an article entitled: “Donald Trump: I Will Recognize Jerusalem as the Undivided Capital of the State of Israel.” The article was written by Alana Wise. She says:

“Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that if elected, the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the campaign said, marking a potential dramatic shift in U.S. policy on the issue. During the meeting that lasted more than an hour at Trump Tower in New York, Trump told Netanyahu that under his administration, the United States would "recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel." While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that, including the United States. Most nations maintain embassies in Tel Aviv.” Alana Wise, “Donald Trump: I Will Recognize Jerusalem as the Undivided Capital of the State of Israel.” The Business Insider, September 25, 2016

Whether or not he will fulfill his promise once he is in office or if he will backpedal as both Clinton and Bush did is yet to be seen, but Netanyahu, surely has maintained confidence in that promise that has been made, especially since:

“During the closed-door meeting, the campaign said that Trump agreed with Netanyahu that peace in the Middle East could only be achieved when "the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State." According to readout of the meeting from the campaign, the two discussed "at length" Israel's border fence, cited by Trump in reference to his own controversial immigration policies, which include building a wall on the U.S. - Mexico border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.” Alana Wise, “Donald Trump: I Will Recognize Jerusalem as the Undivided Capital of the State of Israel.” The Business Insider, September 25, 2016

In the same article, Alana Wise makes the point that: the Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

So we shall see how this plays out.

Cameron A. Bowen

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