What is the capital of Israel?
Israel, a country rich in history and cultural diversity, is located in the Middle East, bordered on the west by the Mediterranean Sea. Its creation in 1948 is the result of historical and geopolitical upheavals, notably the Jewish desire for a sovereign state after the Second World War.
Jerusalem is often considered the capital of Israel, a city of great religious and historical significance. However, the recognition of Jerusalem as a capital is the subject of international controversy, being at the heart of numerous debates and disputes, notably with Palestine. There are many reasons why Jerusalem is considered Israel’s capital, linked not only to history and religion, but also to politics and territorial claims.
International recognition of Jerusalem as a capital is diverse and varied. Several countries officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while others maintain their embassies in other cities, such as Tel Aviv, as a sign of protest against Israeli territorial claims to Jerusalem.
To illustrate this point, we can look at the position of various countries. The United States, for example, officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, sparking various reactions on the international scene.Some countries have followed the American lead, while others have expressed their disagreement, believing that this recognition could hinder the Middle East peace process.
Jerusalem occupies a unique place in the hearts and minds of followers of the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city is a symbol of holiness and spirituality, where every stone seems imbued with prayers and sacred memories.
Jerusalem and Judaism
For Judaism, Jerusalem is more than just a city; it is the place where the divine presence resides, the spiritual center of the Jewish world. The Wailing Wall, a vestige of the Second Temple, is a place of pilgrimage and prayer for Jews the world over. Jewish sacred texts, such as the Torah, abound with references to Jerusalem, underlining its importance in Jewish life and faith.
Jerusalem and Christianity
Christianity regards Jerusalem as the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Sepulchre is venerated as the place where these events took place, attracting millions of pilgrims every year. Christian biblical texts describe Jerusalem as a city of salvation and redemption, a place where the divine and the human meet.
Jerusalem and Islam
Finally, for Islam, Jerusalem is the site of the night journey and ascension of the prophet Mohammed. The Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount is considered Islam’s third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina. Islamic texts such as the Koran refer to Jerusalem as a blessed place, where faith and devotion rise above earthly divisions.
The plurality of religious meanings attributed to Jerusalem reinforces its unique status as a thrice-holy city, where each religious community finds its spiritual and historical anchorage. The interweaving of traditions and beliefs makes Jerusalem a fascinating blend of the sacred and the profane, a place where the heavenly and the earthly intersect and unite.