They Say, We Say: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and only Israel

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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What About Jerusalem and Hebron?

They Say:

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and only Israel. It cannot also be the capital of another state. Seeking recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state will undermine Israel's claim to the city.

We Say:

In our hearts, "Yerushalayim shel Ma'lah" - celestial Jerusalem - is and will forever be Israel's capital. However, "Yerushalayim shel Matah" - mundane Jerusalem of daily life on the ground - poses extremely delicate and volatile foreign policy and national security challenges for Israel. These challenges cannot be addressed through heavy-handed Israeli policies - like building settlements - that seek to exploit the absence of a peace agreement to create facts on the ground in Israel's favor. These challenges can only be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a peace agreement that delivers a two-state solution to the conflict.

The emergence of a Palestinian capital in Arab areas of Jerusalem doesn't undermine Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. Rather, it could clear the way - at long last - for international recognition of Jewish Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

For the sake of Israel's security and stability, a formula must be found to share Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Pragmatic, creative solutions exist to satisfy competing claims to Jerusalem and its holy sites; what is needed is the leadership, courage, and goodwill to explore them.