Reflecting the Mind of the Vatican since 1850
Jerusalem: Holy City, Open City
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The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, had established that two independent and sovereign states would be created from the Palestinian territory, ex British Mandate: one Jewish and one Palestinian. This resolution created the so-called “partition plan” that met with opposition from Arab countries. It was never actually implemented.

On this anniversary, U.S. President Donald Trump wanted the U.S. Embassy – as he had unilaterally declared on December 6, 2017 – to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Besides having strong symbolic significance, this decision is also politically relevant as it goes against the established practice followed by the majority of the international community in this delicate matter. Its members prefer to comply with the various resolutions of the U.N. that aim to maintain the status quo for East Jerusalem while waiting for an agreed decision.

It should also be acknowledged that the following day, May 15, the Arab world recalled the 70th anniversary of the so-called Nakba (The Catastrophe). This commemorates the memory of the expulsion – after the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war – of around 500,000 (according to others, more than 700,000) Palestinians from their houses and their land, forcing them to seek asylum in neighboring countries.
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© Union of Catholic Asian News 2021