The United States and the Indivisibility of Jerusalem – Shlomo Slonim (Jerusalem Post)
The U.S. State Department has a favorite mantra: that Washington’s policy on Jerusalem has not changed since the status of the city arose as part of the Partition Plan in the Truman era. This is quite inaccurate.
The Nixon administration’s Rogers Plan for settling the Arab-Israeli dispute, while acknowledging a Jordanian interest in Jerusalem, also emphasized that Jerusalem should be “a unified city.”
Each successive administration recognized that Jerusalem was never to be divided again. While various presidents have adopted different attitudes to the question of the status of east Jerusalem – some implying that Israeli sovereignty extended there, and others denying such sovereignty – all adhered firmly to the position that the city must remain united.
For its part, the U.S. Congress has declared by concurrent resolution that it: “(1) acknowledges that Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel;” “(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious groups are protected.”
Israel has maintained that under international law Israeli sovereignty extends over Jerusalem in its entirety. The promoter of the Oslo accords, Shimon Peres, declared: “We are very adamant about our position. Jerusalem will not be redivided. It will not be a Berlin.”
Yitzhak Rabin stated categorically to the Knesset: “United Jerusalem will not be open to negotiation. It has been and will forever be the capital of the Jewish people, under Israeli sovereignty.”