America Recognizes One Jerusalem

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from The Wall Street Journal,

The new U.S. Embassy straddles the ‘Green Line,’ refusing to dignify claims of Israeli ‘occupation.’

The U.S. on Monday will officially open its new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. This will correct a surreal policy whereby, since Israel’s independence 70 years ago, the U.S. and other nations have refused to recognize its sovereignty over its capital city. President Trump announced in December he would reverse the old policy. By moving the embassy he now translates words into deed.

The embassy’s exact location within Jerusalem has gotten much less attention, but it is equally consequential. It will be housed in buildings used by the American Consulate, as well as in an adjacent former hotel purchased by the State Department in 2014. Most of that complex is located on the far side of the armistice line that divided Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967. Thus the embassy site demonstrates that the U.S. not only sees Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but also—consistent with bipartisan calls from Congress—recognizes the city as unified.

The “Green Line” was created in the wake of Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence.

By ignoring the armistice line today, the U.S. is showing that it attaches no legal significance to this outdated demarcation. Having an embassy that straddles the Green Line means recognizing as Israel’s capital a unified Jerusalem that includes the Old City and other eastern areas. It means categorically rejecting the notion that Israel has no sovereign claims across the Green Line.

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