«Thanks to Mr. Trump, Israel gets for the first time a political and legal recognition»

Home"TO THE ONE"«Thanks to Mr. Trump, Israel gets for the first time a political and legal recognition»
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President Donald Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)


In a tribune to the "World", the researcher Alain Dieckhoff believes that by announcing the transfer of the US embassy in Jerusalem, Donald Trump offers Israel the recognition of a state of affairs whose wave of international shock is immense.

Tribune. The UN partition plan of November 29, 1947 provided, in addition to the division of Palestine - then British - into two states, one Jewish, the other Arab, the internationalization of Jerusalem and its region to take into account of the specific religious dimension of the city. Seventy years later, Donald Trump officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. We have thus gone from a situation in which the city was tried to escape the vicissitudes of sovereignty to one in which one sovereignty, that of Israel, is recognized. Even though the US President has indicated that he is not pronouncing on the specific contours of this sovereignty, this oratory precaution must not conceal the essential: Israel gets for the first time a political and legal recognition of the fact that it has declared Jerusalem as its capital.

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For the Israelis themselves, this proclamation has nothing new in itself: as early as January 1950, the western sector of Jerusalem - corresponding to the new city, both Jewish and Arab, which had developed especially in from the 1920s - was proclaimed the capital of the state. Almost all public institutions settled there: the presidency, the Knesset, the ministries (with the exception of the defense ministry, still located in Tel Aviv). Yad Vashem memorial, dedicated to the memory of the genocide of the Jews, as well as the Israel Museum, were built there.

At the same time, the city is experiencing continuous population growth, with, between 1949 and 1967, a doubling of the Jewish population (approximately 200,000 inhabitants in 1967). The Israeli authorities, like the population itself, therefore hold Jerusalem for their political and administrative capital, but they deplore the fact that this centrality is not recognized by any state. The international community, which did not ratify the division of the city inherited from the 1948 war, between western Israel and eastern Jordan, sticks at the time to the reaffirmation of the necessary establishment. special international regime.

Everything is done to underline the function of capital of Jerusalem

Things changed dramatically again in 1967 with the Six-Day War, which allowed Israel to conquer the West Bank with, in its heart, the old city of Jerusalem, which shelters the holy places of the three monotheisms. Soon, the city is "reunified" unilaterally with the extension of Israeli law to 72 square kilometers then annexed. The construction of new Jewish neighborhoods in the "East" begins, and will not experience a break: today, about 200,000 Jews live there (next to 300,000 Arabs). The Western Wall, the holy place of Judaism, is at the center of the symbolic apparatus of the sovereign Jewish nation. Everything is done to underline the function of capital of Jerusalem.

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So it is with the fundamental law of July 1980, adopted by the Knesset with a clear majority of 69 votes against 15, Labor mixing their voices with the right nationalist, at the origin of this legislation. Similarly, the year 1996 is an occasion to celebrate the founding moment when, three thousand years ago, King David made the Jebusite city the capital of the kingdom of Israel. Yet, the more Israel hammered at the centrality of Jerusalem, the more international recognition was concealed. The few countries that had established an embassy in Jerusalem moved it to Tel Aviv: in 2006, El Salvador was the last country to leave the Holy City. This situation seemed meant to last, especially since an international consensus had emerged, returning the final status of Jerusalem to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

It was counting without Donald Trump who, faithful to his "disruptive" method, announced the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem. Does he hope, by this gesture, to provoke a shock which would push the parties to the negotiation? Maybe, but the bet is very risky. Meanwhile, he offers Israel, led by one of the most right-wing governments in its history, what was hitherto sorely lacking: the full recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

Alain Dieckhoff is also Director of the International Research Center of Sciences Po (CERI), author of Israelo-Palestinian conflict (Armand Colin, 144p., 13 euros). His work focuses on politics, contemporary society and state transformations in Israel, as well as on the mutation of nationalisms.

Source: ©  «Thanks to Mr. Trump, Israel gets for the first time a political and legal recognition»

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