TEL AVIV — The Speaker of the Knesset has sent letters to his counterparts in more than 50 countries, calling on them to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel following the announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to that effect, the Times of Israel reported.
Edelstein, according to the report, sent the letter to 30 Israeli members of Knesset who have connections with parliamentarians around the world and asked them to encourage the foreign lawmakers to follow in Trump’s footsteps and recognize the Holy City as Israel’s capital.
On Sunday, Edelstein tweeted about the letter, saying that he was “urging them to work towards recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by their countries and the international community.”
Today, I wrote to dozens of my colleagues, heads of parliament from around the world, urging them to work towards recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by their countries and the international community.
I hope and believe several of them will join this effort.
— Yuli Edelstein 🇱 (@YuliEdelstein) December 17, 2017
“I hope and believe several of them will join this effort,” Edelstein wrote.
“Jerusalem is the only capital that the State of Israel has had since gaining independence nearly seventy years ago,” the Knesset speaker wrote in the letter.
“For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the political capital and spiritual center of the Jewish people,” he wrote. “This is where King David established the seat of his dynasty and where Solomon built his Temple — the focus of centuries of Jewish prayer from all corners of the Diaspora.”
Israel also ensures freedom of religion at all religious sites within its control, Edelstein noted.
“Jerusalem is a city holy to three major religions with a large, diverse population that reflects its long history,” he wrote. “With sacred sites open by law to believers and non-believers alike, it is a modern city intimately tied to its glorious past.”
“I urge you, as the speaker of your parliament, to take action in the realm of your capacities and to stand up for the historical record,” he added. “Endorse the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by your country and by the international community.”
A UN Security Council vote on Monday, however, showed that Edelstein’s efforts are not likely to succeed. During the vote, the U.S. veto was the one vote defeating a resolution presented by Egypt that sought to render the American president’s announcement meaningless. All of the other 14 UNSC members supported the resolution.