Jerusalem a Unified Capital

Jerusalem and the Jewish people are so intertwined that telling the history of one is telling the history of the other.

For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history of the Jews, culturally, politically, and spiritually, a role first documented in the Scriptures.

All through the 2,000 years of the Diaspora, Jews have called Jerusalem their ancestral home. This sharply contrasts the relationship between Jerusalem and the new Islamists who artificially inflate Islam's links to Jerusalem.

Israel reunited Jerusalem as one city in 1967, after Jordan joined the Egyptian and Syrian war offensive and shelled the Jewish part of Jerusalem. Israeli leaders vowed the city would never again be divided.

Despite the disgraceful treatment of the Jewish Quarter and the Mount of Olives under the Jordanians and despite the Arabs’ violation of their pledges to make all holy sites accessible to Jews and Christians, one of the first acts Israel undertook after reuniting the city was to guarantee and safeguard the rights of all citizens of Jerusalem. This included not only free access to holy sites for all faiths but also represented an unprecedented act of religious tolerance.

Israel granted Muslim and Christian religious authorities responsibility for managing their respective holy sites– including Muslim administration of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. Eventually, however, the Waqf, which holds administrative responsibility over the Temple Mount, violated the trust with which it was invested to respect and protect the holiness of the Temple Mount for both Muslims and Jews.

The status of Jerusalem as the permanent capital of the State of Israel has been reiterated by all Israel governments since the establishment of the State in 1948.

Politically and spiritually, Jerusalem was, is and always will be the capital of the Jewish people. Yet, at the same time, it plays a significant role in the religious identity of hundreds of millions of believers in the monotheistic faiths.

The Arab world views Jerusalem as one — albeit not the most significant — of their holy places. Furthermore, while almost three-quarters of Jerusalem's citizens are Jewish; many Palestinian Arabs also call the city their home. For these reasons, Israel has agreed to address Jerusalem-related issues in the permanent status phase of the current peace negotiations.

In conclusion, in light of the unique significance that the city of Jerusalem holds for the Jewish people, the Israeli government has consistently reiterated its position that while religious and cultural rights of all the city's communities must be guaranteed — Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of the State of Israel, undivided, under exclusive Israeli sovereignty.

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