The US formally recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6th, 2017 by an announcement made by the US President Donald Trump. When I saw headlines of this announcement on the news, it horrified me as all I could picture is the eruption of even more terrifying conflicts within that region. Since the announcement, two Palestinians have died and a toddler has been injured on the ‘day of rage’ after the announcement. The toddler was injured in a bombing prompted by Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
Declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is an act against humanity in which the US is trying to both aggravate the conflict in the Middle East as well as criticise the United Nations for not aligning themselves with Trump’s decision. Trump’s administration is arguably the most critical of the UN in which it was set up after WWII to promote international cooperation and to create and maintain international order. However, the main point is that Jerusalem shall never and will never be Israel’s capital unless it is taken by force and conflict.
Jerusalem is holy not just to the Jews, but also to Christians and Muslims. The beautiful city is home to three religions. But for each of these religions, there are parts of the Old City of Jerusalem that are most sacred to them. Israel has only occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 6 days war in June 1967 in which they launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria. This in its own right is another controversial topic as you may question whether or not the pre-emptive strike was justifiable. If it was not justifiable, then can Jerusalem really be the capital of Israel? The Israeli government wiped out most of the Arab army before the war really begun in the surprise attack. States such as Jordan claimed that they were arming their military and air-force in an act of defence against the Israeli.
As a consequence of the war, the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem ultimately put the entire city under Israeli control where Israeli laws must be obeyed. Since then, government offices and administrative boards have moved into the East and building of residential houses have begun to house the Israelis. Thus the status of Jerusalem remains one of the most controversial issues in all attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Are there any legitimacy for the Israeli’s government to claim Jerusalem as their capital?
The answer is simply no! The city of Jerusalem has always been the hotspot of the 3 religions and thus at best, it should be shared out. Under Israeli control, not all Israeli citizens were treated equally. The Palestinians, a minority group that occupied the area before the state of Israel existed, are being mistreated under the current government. Palestinian babies in Israel are seen as a threat to the nation as the country is so keen on keeping its main demographic, the Jews, the majority of the population.
Most Palestinians cannot enjoy the rights of citizenship. Living under Israeli occupation are causing these Arab minorities to become stateless citizens and when it comes to voting in the election, they do not have much choice in choosing who governs Israel. However, the leader would predominantly affect the lives of the Palestinian. Can this really be called democracy?
Thus overall, I raise numerous questions within the Israel-Palestine conflict. Questions such as whether or not the state of Israel shall really exist? Should there even be a Jewish state? However more urgently, should the city of Jerusalem be the capital of Israel?