by Prof. Eytan Gilboa
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 833
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel since 1949. Most states, however – including the US – chose not to recognize Israel’s capital and located their embassies in the Tel Aviv area. There has never been any reason to deny recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, either before or after the 1967 Six-Day War. The failure to recognize Israel’s capital is thus a unique diplomatic anomaly. In election campaigns, successive American presidents have promised to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but failed to live up to that commitment. Congress demanded recognition and transfer but to no avail. President Donald Trump dramatically changed this pattern by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordering that the US embassy be moved there.
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