The Old City of Jerusalem as seen from the King David Hotel (TheJudean)

On December 13th, 1949, The Israeli Knesset drafted a resolution that would lead to the vote needed for moving Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This resolution, along with its amendments, was approved by a majority of the Knesset Members (MK's) with a 60-2 vote in favor. The 2 MKs who voted against it were part of the communist party in Israel and seek to obey UN demands that Jerusalem is put under UN control. 

The proclamation declared, “Whereas with the establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.

The main reason Tel Aviv was used for governmental duties until that point in 1949, was largely based on the war of independence which had raged from 1948. During the war, there was a Jordanian siege on Jerusalem for a major portion of the war. After armistice agreements were signed and Jordan agreed to split Jerusalem into two, relative normalcy returned to Jerusalem and the roads leading to it. 

During negotiations for various amendments part of the vote, an MK member from the Zionist Revisionist “Herut” advocated for all of Jerusalem to be declared as part of Israel’s capital, which would effectively mean East Jerusalem was under Jordanian occupation. The Herut amendment, however, was not supported by the Knesset’s left-leaning vast majority.

The Froumine house, a short walk from the famous Machne Yehuda market on King George street, was initially used as the Knesset’s meeting place until the current complex was completed in 1966. 

Although modern Israeli politics generally consider Jerusalem in its entirety as the capital of Israel, some countries have never fully accepted Jerusalem and generally use Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital for official statements. In the 1990s the United States Congress voted to recognize all of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city and twenty years later, President Trump authorized the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

It should also be noted that he concept of splitting Jerusalem into two, with West Jerusalem being Palestine’s capital, is widely criticized in Israel. Yitzhak Rabin, the great Israeli peacemaker, told a group of schoolchildren during the Oslo Accords negotiations "if they tell us peace is the price of giving up a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, my reply would be 'let's do without peace'."

The same day, the President, David Ben Gurion approved a proposal to create what is commonly referred to as the Mossad. 

In July 1949, Reuven Shiloah who was a vital figure in the success of founding the state and in fighting the Arab League in the war of independence proposed the establishment of 'The Central Institute for Coordination of Intelligence and Security Services.' The goal of the proposal was to achieve more coordination and direction of the intelligence activity. Ben Gurion approved the proposal, and this body was established on December 13, 1949, and named his friend and colleague, Shiloah as its first leader. While many believe the name Mossad is an acronym, it actually means 'Institution' - in Israel, it is called HaMossad or 'The Institution.'

Sign Up For The Judean Newsletter

I agree with the Terms and conditions and the Privacy policy