Whatever the rights or wrongs of President Trump's decision to declare that Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, is the capital of Israel, it does throw up a number of questions that need to be addressed.


Perhaps its God's great joke, if indeed you believe in such deities, that he should place three of the worlds most religious sites within a stone's throw of each other - no pun intended. The Wailing Wall, all that remains of the second great Temple, has been a place of Jewish worship for two thousand years, as has the Dome of the Rock, the site of the Prophet Mohammed's ascension to heaven, whilst nearby is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Christ's, agony, crucifixion and subsequent burial.

The city itself is split into four sections Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, each containing sites that are important to the other religions, further complicating matters; and all have been a place of equal pilgrimage, devotion and conflict over the years. The whole matter is further complicated by the fact that the Jews wish at some undetermined time to make the Rock the foundation of a 3rd Temple, whilst the Arabs wish it to be an intrinsic part of an Islamic Jerusalem.

The City

In 1967, in light of the 6-day war, Jerusalem fell totally under Israeli control, a decision that has been a matter of violent contention ever since. Arabs have decreed it THEIR city, whilst Israel has decreed it THEIR'S.

It was Baldwin IV, the Leper King of Jerusalem, who deemed that it should be an open city, even in the midst of the Crusades, it was a brave move to give equal access to all faiths, and the UN tried the same thing in 1948 declaring the city corpus separatum - a separate entity, but Israel never acknowledged it. Now with US backing deciding that in fact it wholly belongs to Israeli, it has further destabilised the area.

It is certainly not helped by Netanyahu's rather bizarre request that all those of black origin should vacate the country as quickly as possible as their culture seemed at odds with the Jewish one - throwing up shades of 1930's Germany.

Currently, Mike Pence is in Israel for talks with Benjamin Netanyahu on amongst other things Iran, having declared on Monday that the new American Embassy will open in Jerusalem in 2019.

This is, of course, is without consultation with anyone, least of all the Palestinians whose own basic human rights and personal dignity seem to matter little to either Israel or America.

The great Jewish diaspora began with the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in AD70, and it continued until they began to return en'masse to Palestine in 1948.In light of recent events, it appears history has taught them nothing as they have reduced Gaza to a mound or rubble and seem to treat all Arabs as second-class citizens. Unfortunately, the US Administration appears to condone Isreal's policy of blatantly stealing that which does not belong to it and until both parties make a smart volte-face very little will change, and everyone will suffer the consequences.