Knesset speaker asks dozens of countries to recognize Jerusalem
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Knesset speaker asks dozens of countries to recognize Jerusalem

Edelstein writes to 50 counterparts around the globe, calling on them to follow Trump's lead, though officials admit there is little chance of success

Knesset Chairman, Yuli Edelstein (3l) with seven parliamentary speakers from African countries during a visit at the solar panels on the Knesset rooftop in Jerusalem, December 5, 2017. (Issac Harari/Flash90)
Knesset Chairman, Yuli Edelstein (3l) with seven parliamentary speakers from African countries during a visit at the solar panels on the Knesset rooftop in Jerusalem, December 5, 2017. (Issac Harari/Flash90)

Knesset Speak Yuli Edelstein has sent letters to his opposite numbers in more than 50 countries, calling on them to follow the initiative of US President Donald Trump and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In addition he sent the letter to 30 Israeli lawmakers who have connections with parliamentarians around the world asking them to encourage others to recognize Israel’s capital.

Edelstein tweeted Sunday that he had written to dozens of lawmakers around the world, “urging them to work towards recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by their countries and the international community.” He added that, “I hope and believe several of them will join this effort.”

“Jerusalem is the only capital that the State of Israel has had since gaining independence nearly seventy years ago,” he wrote in the letter.

He stressed that the move was just, and “consistent with the historical record.”

“For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the political capital and spiritual center of the Jewish people,” he wrote. “This is where King David established the seat of his dynasty and where Solomon built his Temple — the focus of centuries of Jewish prayer from all corners of the Diaspora.”

He also pointed out that Israel ensures freedom of religion for all at all the sites under its control.

“Jerusalem is a city holy to three major religions with a large, diverse population that reflects its long history,” he wrote. “With sacred sites open by law to believers and non-believers alike, it is a modern city intimately tied to its glorious past.”

Edelstein pointed out that the announcement by the US president in which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital, provided the perfect opportunity for other countries to follow his lead.

“I urge you, as the speaker of your parliament, to take action in the realm of your capacities and to stand up for the historical record,” he wrote. “Endorse the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by your country and by the international community.”

Officials in the Foreign Ministry told Channel 10 news that it was a worthy effort, but that the chances of the letter-writing campaign having any impact were extremely small.

In an address on December 6 from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

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