The Capital of Israel

Geography lesson: What is the capital of Israel? Capital quizzes should be easy, simply a matter of memorization. Write out the flashcards and study until you’ve got it down pat. At least, that’s normally the case.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Israel, politicians have made a mess of things with their typical philandering, playing multiple sides with their hands in too many pots.

Ask any Israeli the capital of the Jewish State, and the answer is clear: Jerusalem. How could it be anywhere else? Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and is Judaism’s holiest city.

Benjamin Netanyahu recently reflected on the Six Day War and the moment when Israeli forces recaptured the Old City, seeing and touching the Kotel for the first time in their lives, and reunifying Jerusalem to allow freedom to all religions there. “It was like a lightning bolt — I can’t describe it any other way,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

At that time Jews everywhere rejoiced upon hearing Col. Motta Gur’s words: “The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!”

The troops were under attack, but they were on a mission to regain control of the holy sites. Upon reaching the Kotel, the men were in tears. On a radio broadcast from that day, Yossi Ronen said, “I’m walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I’m not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I’m touching the stones of the Western Wall.”

Words cannot describe that feeling.

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

And yet, the rest of the world has decided that Israel is wrong. The capital is Tel Aviv. In fact, when I was a child growing up in New Jersey, I distinctly remember learning in public school that the capital of Israel was Tel Aviv. The maps even said so!

But who made the maps? The facts are not always what they seem.

The thing is, nations choose their own capitals. Imagine if the Israeli government told the U.S., no, Washington D.C. is not your capital. And imagine if they started printing maps with a star next to New York City. “We want the modern, vibrant city of New York to be your capital and will not accept your choice of Washington.”

Sure, I know I’m simplifying the matter, but think about this: If the United States had lost control of Washington, then got it back in a battle, the masses would cheer, and no one would question the status of the city.

Now here’s what’s really interesting. In a recent survey, 56 percent of Palestinians answered that they didn’t care if the U.S. moved the embassy to Jerusalem. This nonsense of such a move impeding the peace process is only a red tape issue among politicians. Take away the hatred and take away the financial interests of those calling the shots, and it’s a no-brainer. Move the embassy.

The capital of Israel is Jerusalem. Period.

D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.


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