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Why is everyone talking about Jerusalem?

Why is Donald Trump’s proposed plan to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and move the United States’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, so controversial?

 

    Why is Donald Trump’s proposed plan to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and move the United States’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, so controversial?

    While Jerusalem has always been seen as the capital by Israelis and the Jewish world, its status has been a point of constant international consternation.

    The US will be the first country since the foundation of Israel in 1948 to side with the Israeli view of the city.

    President Trump’s plan has received a furious response across the Muslim world, with Hamas, Turkey and Saudi Arabia joining the Palestinian Authority in expressing outrage.

    So what are the facts about the city which is home to the holy sites of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity?

    Dore Gold, the veteran Israeli diplomat, has explored the history of Jerusalem in a multi-media lecture in which he tackles UNESCO resolutions on the city and centuries of arguments around its status.

    He challenges what he says are “myths which, although they subvert historical fact, persistently manage to gain ground”.

    Aiming to “plant the flag of Israel’s historical rights”, Dr Gold presented his argument at an event in London in September, having previously delivered it in New York, Los Angeles and other major US cities.

    Dr Gold, currently serving as president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, was previously the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is a former Israeli Ambassador to the UN.

    Following the presentation of his work in London, Dr Gold’s spokeswoman said the diplomat’s aim was for the lecture to “serve as an influential channel to audiences in Jewish communities, university campuses, and beyond”.

    With the status of Jerusalem now sharply under the spotlight thanks to President Trump’s decision, Dr Gold’s work may find wider international interest.

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