US President Donald Trump has said it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision comes seven decades after the Declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, that was unilaterally announced on 14 May 1948 by David Ben-Gurion. At the time, no borders were settled for the new state. It is also for this reason that Israel’s admission to the United Nations (UN) soon became a strategic priority. The admission to the UN, in fact, was and is the “most secure and expeditious way” of gaining widespread or universal recognition.
Yet, Israel’s original application for admission to the UN was rejected by the UN Security Council on December 17, 1948. The second bid for application was made on February 24, 1949. “Negotiations”, assured the then Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban at the General Assembly of the UN, “would not, however, affect the juridical status of Jerusalem, to be defined by international consent”.
Lorenzo Kamel teaches History of Colonial Spaces at the University of Bologna and is a senior fellow at IAI.