By the Way, What IS the Capital of Israel?

It has always struck me as bizarre that there should be a debate over what city is the capital of Israel. I think back to my own elementary school days, when we learned the capitals. South Dakota: Pierre. (Pronounced “pier,” not “Pierre,” like a Frenchman’s name.) New Hampshire: Concord. Oklahoma: Oklahoma City. How did we know that Pierre was the capital of South Dakota? This is not a trick question: because South Dakota said so. Likewise, how do we know that Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan? Because Pakistan says so. It used to be Karachi, but the Pakistanis changed it to Islamabad. Did anyone question their right to do so? Of course not. It’s their capital.

As in so many other situations, Israel stands alone. Israel has named Jerusalem as its capital city. The Knesset meets there, and other government facilities are there. The capital of Israel obviously is Jerusalem. Yet somehow, this has become a controversial proposition; one that was written out of the Democratic Party’s platform and that a majority of delegates to the Democratic National Convention are unwilling to accept.

I really cannot understand this. It seems the height of arrogance to tell another country what its capital is. I can’t think of another instance in history where this has been done. We bombed Tokyo, but we didn’t try to tell the Japanese it wasn’t their capital. The fact that liberals–including, apparently, most Democratic Party delegates–want to remain agnostic on Israel’s capital is a deep and bitter insult to all Israelis.

Responses