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The Struggle for Jerusalem: A Guide for Beginners

Historical and legal vade on dispute over the holy city, bitter after President Trump's statement that has unleashed the wrath of the Palestinians

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The Struggle for Jerusalem: A Guide for Beginners

"Jerusalem of Gold, of bronze, and of light", prays refrain of regarded as Hymn of Holy City; A homage to singular reflection of sunsets on its limestone facades. It is also an undeclared tribute to gilded dome of Dome of Rock, Islamic Sanctuary where Judaism places sanctum of its vanished temple. Yerushalayim, in Hebrew; Al Quds, for Arabs, this very strategic caravanserai of Judean Hills has always been in dispute as a religious emblem. The Christian tradition also observes attentively scene of Crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So more than 3 billion of faithful of three monoistic religions are awaiting ir vicissitudes.

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The statement by President Donald Trump, who has recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel this week, has bittered controversy over his status quo — purposely left in limbo for seven decades by international community — and has unleashed wrath of Palestinians, who claim eastern part of city as capital of ir future state. Here is a vade of reasons for litigation.

History Review

The Israeli government asserts that Jerusalem is capital of Jewish people for last 3,000 years and that of Hebrew state for seven decades. The Roman Empire destroyed its emblematic temple in year 70 of our era and forced Jewish diaspora. From 7th century onwards, city was under Islamic domination — with exception of 200 years of cross-domination — until British troops evicted Ottoman garrison a century ago.

International law

The British Empire received in 1922 a mandate from UN Society, a precursor of United Nations, to administer territory of Palestine. The United Nations General Assembly approved in 1947 a partition plan n collected in Security Council resolution 181 to create a Jewish state, which was proclaimed following year under name of Israel, and anor Arab, which did not become constituted. According to this plan, Jerusalem region — which included city and several nearby populations, such as Bethlehem — should remain under international control as Corpus separatum.

The war that erupted between Jewish forces and forces in Arab countries hit UN's forecasts. The new state of Israel seized western part of city, and eastern part, which included walled historical enclosure, was left in hands of Jordan. The Armistice signed in 1949 established a green dividing line of fences and barricades. Israel declared west of city as its capital, to which it moved headquarters of most of its institutions. The international community did not accept this unilateral decision and continued to consider that holy City was under a special international regime.

Situation in fact

The six-day war waged by Hebrew army 50 years ago against a coalition of Arab States, Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, including holy places of Old City: Basilica of Holy Christian Sepulchre, was departed. , wall of Jewish lamentations and Esplanade of Islamic mosques. In 1980, Knesset (Parliament) approved incorporation of eastern sector and annexed populations of West Bank into a single municipality, which declared "eternal, united and permanent capital of Israel". Security Council resolution 478 condemned measure to be considered contrary to international law.

A total of 16 countries, including 13 Latin Americans, came to have an embassy in western part of holy city, but y all ended up moving legations to Tel Aviv after annexation of eastern part. Until pronouncement of President of United States last Wednesday, no country had expressed its appreciation to Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

Consequences of decision

Analysts of International Crisis Group Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Tharll argue that Republican president's statement, which he justified as "a recognition of reality," is ambiguous and does not clarify his objectives. Both experts point out that American diplomats are pointing out that no place in text of President defines borders of Jerusalem. The State Department has already anticipated that embassy's transfer from Tel Aviv will take at least two years to become a reality. Finally, y emphasize in ir report that resolution of Security Council 2334, approved less than a year ago, obliges all states to "distinguish in all relevant matters between territory of State of Israel and occupied territories from 1967".


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