(At left: a participant in Sydney's so-called "Solidarity Rally with Jerusalem to say no to the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel" that took place on Saturday. Below: a face in the crowd. Photographer: Peter Boyle for Green Left Weekly. Third image: Jews expelled from their homes in Jerusalem by Jordanian troops in 1948: Life magazine.)
Writes David Singer:
The media has discredited President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – falsely claiming the president has reversed nearly seven decades of American foreign policy. Trump’s decision has pitted America squarely against the United Nations.
The New York Times led the pack declaring:
“President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy …”followed suit with this headline:
“Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in reversal of decades of policy”News outlets including Reuters, Financial Times, Iraqinews, Gulfnews, and Today parroted this false claim.
America’s policy on Jerusalem is actually laid out in “The Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995 (Act)” passed by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37) on 24 October 1995 – specifically highlighted by Trump when announcing his decision:
“In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city -- and so importantly -- is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.”The Act unequivocally states:
“SEC. 3. TIMETABLE.
(a) Statement of the Policy of the United States.
(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected. (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.”The Act’s preamble details the following facts critical to Congress’s overwhelming vote:
1. Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.
2. Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
3. The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel´s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.
4. The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.
5. From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.
6. In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.
7. Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city.
8. The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.
ethnically cleansing East Jerusalem’s entire Jewish population, destroying synagogues and desecrating Jewish cemeteries.9. In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David´s entry.
United Nations member States who vote – or abstain from voting – on future resolutions supporting specious artificially-contrived Arab claims in East Jerusalem risk being collectively shamed and internationally castigated.
The media’s latest myth remains unretracted and uncorrected. Trump’s principled decision follows United States policy adopted since 1995.
God bless America.