Weekly Worker, 14 December 2017 **** Front Page


By Moshé Machover

In the deluge of comments on Donald Trump's announcement on his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to that city, one historical fact has largely been ignored.

The general international consensus regarding Jerusalem as not being part of Israel's sovereign territory is much older than the six-days war of June 1967, when Israel annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem. In fact the special status of Jerusalem as a whole (west and east) has survived as the last remaining element of the UN partition resolution of November 1947 (UN general assembly resolution 181).

According to that resolution, Jerusalem and the surrounding area, including Bethlehem, was not to be part of either of the two states into which Palestine was to be partitioned, but a corpus separatum (separate body) under an international regime. It is for this reason that Israel's claim to sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem - let alone its later annexation of the eastern part of the city - has not been internationally recognised. This is also the reason for the almost total international condemnation of Trump's announcement, including the closest camp followers of the US, the so-called ‘international community'.

Since Israel often asserts that its international legitimacy stems from UNGA resolution 181, this recent purported unilateral change in the status of Jerusalem undermines Israel's own claim for international legitimacy.


Archive: Moshé Machover, Middle East, Ramzy Baroud, Noam Chomsky, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk




[home] [archive] [focus]