Big news this week for Israel as the remote island-nation of Australia formally recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
This recognition, while surely momentous, is chock full of IBAW (that’s “if, buts and whens” for you lamens). The biggest elephant in the room is that Australia declared not all, but very specifically West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel - and not Jerusalem proper. Only once peace in the Holy Land is established (ie between Israelis and Palestinians), shall they will formally declare East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Until then, they are only half-committed to their declaration.
So as stated, this is sort of a loaded statement. Why?
Go. All. The Way. Bros.
The Aussies stop short of declaring Jerusalem outright capital of Israel, like the United States did Winter of 2017, and reserve the eastern half of Jerusalem for the capital of a future Palestinian state. Seems pretty cut and dry, right? Well, not really.
One State, Two State, No State, Stalemate.
By recognizing Jerusalem as a two-nation capital, they're acknowledging that they're in favor of the “two-state solution" which some might argue is slipping out of favor. Hardliners, especially, oppose the two-state solution, and would prefer to see a single, unified country (never mind for now who the actual residents would be).
Up In Arms
At this point, international reaction to Australia's announcement has been varied, to say the least. A good amount of Israelis are upset that the declaration wasn’t totally in favor of a non-Palestinian Jerusalem. Israel's closest Arab neighbor, Jordan, has come out to call it a breach of international law - and though that predominantly Muslim kingdom is an ally of the US, and does occasional business with Israel, it's no surprise that the king would announce his royal displeasure to appease his subjects.
But in a somewhat shocking move, Bahrain, another Middle Eastern Arab nation, has declared their support of Australia's announcement, as it doesn't actually harm any efforts of Palestinian self-determination.
So, who recognizes what as what? Let's get to the gritty:
Unified Jerusalem As Israel's Capital
- Just kidding
Unified Jerusalem As Israel's Capital (really)
- The United States of America
- Czech Republic
Unified Jerusalem As Palestine's Capital
Eastern Jerusalem as Palestine's Capital
- Saudi Arabia
Western Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
- Saudi Arabia
Read more over at Arutz 7.