Costa Rica will move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, its new president said on Wednesday, in a move that pleases Arab nations and is a blow to the Israeli government. The decision will leave El Salvador as the only country in the world with an embassy in Jerusalem.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he made the decision to win more friends in the Middle East and comply with United Nations' resolutions. "It's time to rectify an historic error that hurts us internationally and deprives us of almost any form of friendship with the Arab world, and more broadly with Islamic civilization, to which a sixth of humanity belongs," Arias said at an event marking his first 100 days in office.
In 1980, following Israel's Jerusalem Law annexing the Old City and unifying the city, the UN instructed its member states to withdraw their diplomats from Jerusalem. This is the "UN resolution" that Arias is referring to. Costa Rica did move its embassy then, but then moved it back a few years later.
Obviously, by his own admission, the real reason for the move is to curry favor with the Islamic world.
Even before 1980, only a handful of countries has their embassies in Jerusalem. Most of the world did not accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital - even the Western half!
How exactly does that jive with the near-universal demand that the world places on Israel of withdrawing from all territories won in a defensive war in 1967, where West Jerusalem is clearly on the Israeli side of the Green Line? If the Green Line is the major demand, why can't the world accept Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem?
Beyond that, the Arab and Islamic states say (publicly) that a Palestinian Arab state should be set up in only the territories "occupied" in 1967. West Jerusalem is not in those territories. So why are they pressuring the world to not accept Israel's claim on West Jerusalem?
The UK claims it is because the UN originally planned to make all of Jerusalem an "international city" and as such it never accepted any nation's legal claims over Jerusalem. This is just sophistry: no one on the planet reasonably thinks that Jerusalem will ever become a separate entity under UN auspices. Improbably, the UK position also contains this statement which is close to an oxymoron:
The UK believes that the city’s status has yet to be determined, and maintains that it should be settled in an overall agreement between the parties concerned, but considers that the city should not again be divided.So the UK position allows the UN to rule, realizes that Israeli and/or Arabs will negotiate its status, but doesn't want it divided - three pretty much mutually exclusive positions wrapped up in one.
The truth is what Costa Rica's president said - the real reason that the world doesn't accept Israel's legal, historic and moral claims on Jerusalem is because it will upset the Arabs and Muslims. And the Muslims do not accept Jewish sovereignty because their claim against Israel is not only the "territories" but the entire state of Israel.
Instead of realizing this obvious truth, the world chooses to pretend that the Green Line means something. Yet until 1967, the Arab world did not pretend to accept the Green Line either.
And one can bet that even if Israel withdrew behind the Green Line, the Muslim world will find reasons to keep attacking just like Hezbollah claimed the Shebaa Farms area is Lebanese. They would start at Jerusalem and then go on to try to make Israel accept the 1947 partition lines, continuously slicing Israel using pseudo-legal reasoning up until it no longer exists.
The lesson of Costa Rica shows that the Western world knows all these facts quite well, but chooses to ignore them because they are afraid of the Islamic world.