This seems to be the question that is agitating the minds of many commentators on the latest move by the Don. The question of whether Jerusalem is the “spiritual” capital of the Jews, the Israelites and if it is they who have the first right over the holy city is being conveniently brushed aside.
The crux of the present dispute over Jerusalem centres around the division of Jerusalem into East and West in 1948, with Israel occupying West Jerusalem soon after the proclamation of a separate state for the Jews and the Jordanians retaining control over the Eastern part of the holy city.
In the six-day war of 1967, which was initiated by the Arabs mind you and not by Israel, the Israelis wrested control of East Jerusalem from Jordan and have retained it since. It is important to understand that Israel acknowledged Jordanian control over East Jerusalem from 1948 through 1967. It was as a result of the combined attack of Israel by the arab forces (Egypt, Syria, and Jordan) that the Israelis occupied East Jerusalem after decimating the combined Arab force in the six-day war. It has been for all practical purposes under Israeli control since then.
The UN security Council did decree that Israeli claim over entire Jerusalem is “null and void” asking that member states not establish their diplomatic missions there. That however is being challenged by Trump.
Trump by recognizing Israel’s right over Jerusalem has shown that his election promises are not mere rhetoric and that he intends to follow through on them. This is also a major concession to his core support base made up of the Jewish lobby and the evangelicals.
It must also be acknowledged that it is the Jews who have the historical and spiritual right over the holy city of Jerusalem. They have waited for a long long time.
600 years before the Roman General Titus in 70 AD destroyed Jerusalem and put to death more than 60,000 Jewish men, women, and children, Jerusalem had earlier been completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon but then the Jews returned to rebuild the city within 50 years of that event. However for 2,000 years after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus the Jews could not return to their land and lived and suffered persecution in many countries.
They have finally been given their due. Jerusalem belongs to all three of the Abrahamic faiths but Israel undoubtedly has the first right over the Holy land.
And a bipartisan reading of what Trump meant should make it clear to anyone that he meant the entire Jerusalem – both the East and the West.