Thursday, 19 July 2012

the capital of Israel?

apparently (I can't bear to look) the Guardian thinks Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.  The BBC has decided that it will not say what the capital of Israel is.  And there is fury and hatred on various comments pages.  But the facts are these: the State of Israel was created by the UN.  Tel Aviv was the capital of it for approximately the first twelve months of its existence.  Israel then declared Jerusalem to be its capital.  Which it is.  Because every sovereign state has the right to decide what its capital city is.  Whatever anyone else might think about the merits or actions of that state.  It's not even true that all the embassies are in Tel Aviv.  Costa Rica's, for example, is in Jerusalem.  El Salvador's was until quite recently.  It is stated US policy that the US embassy should be in Jerusalem - although State Department officials have done precisely nothing about moving the embassy there.  But hey, haters, let's keep on pretending, hein?


Anonymous said...

Can be a bit confusing to the average person though.
Amsterdam/The Hague, Canberra/Melbourne, Berlin/Bonn, New York/Washington.Can be a bit confusing to the

Jane Griffiths said...

I don't think the ones you mention are confusing, L9! Anyway, it's Sydney tht some people might think is the capital of Australia - but I don't think many do. I just think it is not appropriate for the Guardian, or any newspaper, or the BBC, to take a political position on what the capital of a sovereign state should be.

Jonny said...

The UK does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, since East Jerusalem is occupied territory. This follows the 1980 UN resolution 478 that refuses to accept the Knesset's "Basic Law" assertion of that year that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel", since you can't have a capital city in a foreign country. The UK embassy, like most, is in Tel Aviv.
Usually people get around this by saying "the seat of Government" or some such (just like with Den Haag/Amsterdam).

Jane Griffiths said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane Griffiths said...

sorry Jonny I misread you as Anon and was rather peevish in the way that I sometimes am with anonymous responders.

Jane Griffiths said...

and also this brought out the haters, who have not been let through in the interest of public safety.