I grew up in Yisrael and never even once had one sliver of doubt that Jerusalem was the capital of Yisrael. Why should I? It was as clear to me as Cairo being the capital of Egypt or Washington D.C. the capital of the U.S.
For some, however, the opposite seems to have been clear and still seems so to many others.
I first encountered such reluctance to accept Jerusalem as Yisrael’s Capital when I was teaching high school in Texas in the late eighties. It happened by accident.
As part of teaching Hebrew, the curriculum required that I also teach Yisraeli culture. Naturally, I introduced the students to many aspects of Yisrael, geographical, economic and culinary. Politics was expected to be kept out of the classroom.
In one of my exams, the students were asked simple questions which included naming the capital of Yisrael and its neighboring countries. Much to my surprise, many students named Tel Aviv to the former question and “Palestine” as one of Yisrael’s neighbors to the East.
Those who know me can picture my countenance and my blood temperature when reading those answers. They were certainly not what was taught in my class. I was perplexed.
“The Arabic teacher told us that Jerusalem cannot be the capital of Yisrael because the world does not recognize it as such,” one of the students told me in response to my query. “And this is a map she gave us,” another volunteered as he produced a map of the Middle East in which there was no mention of Yisrael and both Judea and Samaria and Gaza were referred to as “Palestine.”
There was no point in approaching the Arabic teacher and discussing the issue with her. I needed to address it in my own way. Since Google and other search engines were not available then, I decided to approach one of the social science teachers and get from him an objective definition of what constitutes a Capital City. I received the answer I knew was right, the answer that made most sense.
The following definition which I found with a recent basic Google search is very much the one I received then, in 1986. A Capital City according to the oxforddictionaries.com is “the city or townthat functions as the seat of government and administrative centre of a country or region.”
Some facts just do not change only narratives do! Jerusalem was then and still is the Capital city of Yisrael because by the above definition, it is. Whatever everyone else thinks or whether the world recognizes it as such is irrelevant.
Moreover, according to the above definition, Jerusalem is the Capital of ONLY Yisrael. The only government seated in Jerusalem is the Yisraeli government. Likewise, Jerusalem is the administrative centre of Yisrael only.
So dear Arabic teachers, European NGO’s and agenda pursuers the world over, memorize that definition before you walk into the classrooms or college campuses and twists the minds of young people with your made up narratives and disinformation. Remember, you can try and rewrite history but as long as there are people like me, and there always will be, you will never be able to get rid of the facts.
Artwork by Liora Golda Rotem