Foreign Policy Watch

Geopolitical musings through a progressive lens …by Matt Eckel and Jeb Koogler

Jerusalem and Israeli Sovereignty

Picking up on a thread of conversation in the comments section from Matt’s last post, I want to briefly address the issue of Israel’s capital. Matt correctly noted that it is Tel Aviv. This is not under much debate. Israel, of course, still claims that its capital is Jerusalem. But virtually no other country recognizes this claim. As far as I am aware, every single embassy is located in Tel Aviv — not in Jerusalem. One commenter, objecting to Matt’s reference to Tel Aviv, argues that under international law, each sovereign country has the right to “designate its own capital.” Okay, sure. But a country’s sovereignty is determined by international recognition and Israel’s sovereignty — according to, well, basically everyone — is not recognized to include exclusive control over Jerusalem. Instead, the territory is contested, considered corpus separatum. So, in other words, a country has the power under international law to name its capital city within its legally recognized borders. But if Jerusalem is not considered to be Israel’s exclusive sovereign territory, as it almost universally is not, then it can’t claim legitimacy under international law in attempting to establish its capital there.

Subscribe to Our Posts

Comments Closed

One Comment

  1. Sorry for double post, meant to post this here. Can you delete it from the other thread?

    The American people disagree with the arrogant elitists that think they can dictate internal matters to a sovereign. In 1990 Congress passed a resolution stating that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. In 1995 a law was ratified stating that the embassy must be moved as soon as circumstances allow to Jerusalem. Today there is a bill in the Senate with bipartisan support that seeks to strip the power to postpone the will of the people from the President. For political convenience the leaders of our nation have sided with tyranny and evil against the will of the people. Once the foreigner occupying the White House is removed I have a feeling the winds will change towards justice.

    So long as the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians cling to the farce that they have a claim to Jerusalem the peace process will go nowhere. Once they realize that we are no longer playing along with the cowardly charade they will have no power to continue their intransigence.

    Just because embassies are located in Tel Aviv this does not mean that any nation has the right to call Tel Aviv the capital of Israel. That would be like building a home somewhere and having your neighbors tell you which room you can use as your bedroom.

    Matt and yourself have a fair talent at arranging words, but you sorely lack objectivity and wisdom. You are wrong in your analysis of just about everything you write about. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad. Try supporting your claim that the international community has the right to dictate where Israel's capital is. With a source of law preferably. While you are researching that, brush up on sovereignty and tell us what sovereign's land is Israel occupying. Further, the territory is not considered corpus separatum by law. Nothing produced by the General Assembly is considered binding in international law. Basic stuff. Try using something other than Wikipedia for your research if you want anything other than mockery for your effort.

    Lastly, if things work the way you think they do, why do the so called Palestinians get a US embassy in Jerusalem that is excluded from use by Israeli citizens? Either Jerusalem is not recognized as the sovereign land of a power or it is. Don't you find this a bit absurd?