This week, Israel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its military capture of what officials now describe as their “eternal, undivided” capital city of Jerusalem, a capital which is recognized virtually nowhere in the world, and remains deeply divided, with a large population of occupied Palestinians.
Israel has held Western Jerusalem since 1948, but the Old City and East Jerusalem were captured in 1967 in a war with Jordan. Officially, this territory has all been annexed, but it’s an unrecognized annexation, which in practice means it’s every bit as occupied as the rest of the West Bank.
The celebrations have all the same trappings of the 1967 war, with celebrants’ calls to purge the Palestinian population from Jerusalem. Between that and the crippling poverty among the occupied Palestinians, it also underscores that this is very much part of the West Bank.
Indeed, East Jerusalem is in many ways a microcosm of the occupation in general, with large, heavily subsidized and fortified Jewish-only settlements scattered around Palestinian neighborhoods, whose residents are always either protesting their mistreatment or being cracked down upon for protesting their mistreatment too loudly.
Israel is desperate to get recognition for their annexation of Jerusalem, which was done in 1980, and that means getting people to move their embassies out of Tel Aviv. So far, there are no takers, and while President Trump has talked up such a move, even with him it appears to be more or less permanently on hold.
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