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The JC Leader: 8 December

The Jewish Chronicle Leader column, December 8, 2017

    Stating the reality

    This week could be said to have seen much ado about nothing. It is, after all, a simple statement of fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Historically, morally, practically and legally, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city and, as President Trump said on Wednesday, his statement is simply a “recognition of reality”.

    And yet, there is another aspect to it all.

    Yes, President Trump was right to recognise the reality of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But it is equally true that the Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of any Palestinian state — and that it is precisely this clash of claims that would be settled in the final stages of any negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

    President Trump was careful to make clear that border issues would still be up for negotiation in any future agreement. But it is equally to deny reality not to recognise that Wednesday’s annoucement would be seen by the Palestinians as hostile.

    Then again, who would ever expect President Trump to reduce, rather than inflame, the temperature in any area?

    Transforming

    On 6th December 1977, a statement in Parliament announced the creation of Motability. Forty years later, it has provided over 4.5 million vehicles to the disabled — a simply staggering achievement.

    The brainchild of two eminent members of our community, the late Lord Goodman and the very much alive Lord Sterling, it has directly transformed millions of lives. It is a model of its kind and deserves every plaudit that it has received.

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