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Friday, October 03, 2008 

John McCain will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

McCain's vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin: "building our embassy, also, in Jerusalem, those things that we look forward to being able to accomplish with this peace-seeking nation."

Until now, America's embassy has been in Tel Aviv. Every other country in the world also has their embassy in Tel Aviv (except Micronesia) because they have agreed to wait until the final status of Jerusalem is settled.

Tel Aviv is the de facto capital at the UN. Only Israel - NOT EVEN AMERICA, not even Bush - recognises Jerusalem as the capital.

This is a massive step. There are three main issues in the Palestine-Israel conflict: the refugees, Jerusalem and the settlements.

In 2004, Bush said that some settlements will have to remain - breaking with decades of consistent messages that the settlements will be sorted out in the final status negotiations.

Lots of candidates, even GWB, have said they'd move the embassy to Jerusalem. They don't do it. It's a nice way to stand out and look like they'll go the extra mile for Israel, but Bush has found 8 years of reasons not to do it.

Anyway, I've never understood the problem, since the Palestinians always say they want a state with Jerusalem as its capital. I don't see why Israel can't have a state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Matt

that's reassuring to know, I didn't know bush made the same promise!

Israel can have Jerusalem as a capital or shared capital. But that can only happen after final status negotiations. The same applies to Palestine. The problem here us that McCain has jumped the gun and pre empted the negotiations.

Also don't forget Israel has already got most of it's capital offices (Prime Minister's office etc) but palestine isn't allowed to do the same - it uses ramallah.

Israel can have Jerusalem as a capital or shared capital. But that can only happen after final status negotiations..

Why? In any negotiations, both sides will want Jerusalem as its capital - everyone knows this, and neither side will back down on it. Israel having its capital there now doesn't mean the Palestinians can't have theirs in Jerusalem later.

Also don't forget Israel has already got most of it's capital offices (Prime Minister's office etc) but palestine isn't allowed to do the same - it uses ramallah.

Ok, but I'm not sure why that means Israel's capital isn't (or shouldn't be) in Jerusalem now.

the issue is over dividing Jerusalem. Israel's position is that it wants the while city. The Palestinians say they just want the east and Israel can have the west. Israel at the moment is occupying the while city that is the stickig point in negotiations.

I'm not sure the Israeli government's position is that it wants the whole city. Olmert just gave an interview in which he said that Israel must give up east Jerusalem and most of the West Bank. I doubt Livni will be any different.

And besides, even if Israel does want all of Jerusalem and is occupying the east, why does that mean none of Jerusalem is Israel's capital? The Israeli government institutions aren't in the disputed areas.

Jerusalem, today, is Israel's capital. No negotiations will change that. So what is the problem?

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