Treating Jerusalem as Israeli Capital is 'Recognition of Reality' – Lawyer

© REUTERS / Ammar AwadIsraelis celebrate as they hold an Israeli flag during a parade marking the annual Jerusalem Day, outside Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City, May 13, 2018
Israelis celebrate as they hold an Israeli flag during a parade marking the annual Jerusalem Day, outside Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City, May 13, 2018 - Sputnik International
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As hundreds of Palestinian protesters rage against the United States’ relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, which seals the formal recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, Israeli-based international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky told Sputnik Radio what this move means for the state of Israel and for the world.

Sputnik: What is your take and your personal feeling on this historic move? How significant is the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, in your view?

I think it is quite a historic move, and it’s being celebrated in Israel across the political spectrum and also in many parts of the world too, not just in the United States. We’re seeing more and more countries recognizing Jerusalem and move their embassies there as well.

A general view of Jerusalem's Old City shows the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in the foreground as the Dome of the Rock, located on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, is seen in the background December 10, 2017 - Sputnik International
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But I think we need to put things in context. Just now Israel celebrated 51 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, but the Jewish people’s historic and legal bond to this city stands for over 3,000 years. But it really has been an anomaly that Jerusalem has been the only world capital not recognized by the international community, and that Israel which, like any other sovereign nation, is entitled to determine what is its capital, has been denied.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Jewish people throughout recorded history. Our parliament is in Jerusalem, our foreign ministry is in Jerusalem … there are holy prayers with the words "make cheer in Jerusalem."

Sputnik: Now some experts have stated that the relocation of the US Embassy could boost Israel’s claim to the city and underscores its legitimacy. What are your thoughts on this and would you stand to agree with this accession?

Well the country of Israel already has full sovereignty over Jerusalem. And it is under Israeli sovereignty that Jerusalem has been free and opened to all faiths. And as the US administration stated … recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish capital is a fundamental recognition of reality and fact.

And it is also something that is a necessity and precondition that we want for an opportunity for peace, especially given that the Palestinian leadership continues to deny the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and to holy places in Israel.

So I think that if we talk about assault on legitimacy, I think that is the legitimacy that is being denied to Israel to determine as a sovereign nation what is our capital. That is an inalienable right that is afforded to all nations in the world, including Russia, but it seems to be denied to one state – Israel.

The views and opinions expressed by Arsen Ostrovsky are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent those of Sputnik.

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