Jerusalem Literally ‘Back on the Map’ as Israeli Capital in Czech Schools

Jews have prayed in Jerusalem, remembering it's status as their Biblical capital, for millenia. The Western Wall in Jerusalem. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Jews have prayed in Jerusalem, remembering it’s status as their Biblical capital, for millennia. The Western Wall in Jerusalem. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been considered the capital of Israel by Jews the world over. After briefly thinking otherwise, the Czech Republic has agreed. The European nation’s Education Minister, Katerina Valachova, on Tuesday reversed their position and said that they would compromise and provide the various viewpoints of the capital status of Jerusalem, half of which is claimed by the Palestinians despite their never controlling the city at any point in history.

Noting that Jerusalem is considered the capital by Israel as its own capital city, Valachova was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as telling Czech Radio, “If there is a sentence relating to all of the international steps, I believe that this fact will not offend either side.” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was quick to applaud the decision. “Jerusalem is on the map!” said Barkat in a press release. “Truth has indeed overcome lies: The Czech government has reversed its decision and Czech textbooks will correctly teach that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

The Czech Republic had previously backed a decision by the textbook company to replace Jerusalem with Tel Aviv in the school textbooks, according to reports in The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel. The situation had emerged following an outcry from the Palestinian ambassador to the country.

But when the change was announced, Barkat joined the chorus of those arguing against the decision by writing to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to not only undo the decision, but visit Jerusalem to see its history for himself.

Barkat pointed to the letter as part of the diplomatic push that “positively impacted this decision.”

Said Barkat, “I’m thankful to the Czech government for making the right choice and for refusing to surrender to Palestinian incitement and lies… The friendship between the Czech and Jewish peoples has deep and historical roots. Future generations of Czech students will continue to learn the truth: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

The incident with the Czech textbooks isn’t the only forum in which Israel is working to battle misrepresentations of their country from the Palestinians. On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior-level parliamentarians from the Netherlands.

A press release from his office said that he told them “that the source of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not the [Jewish] communities in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] but the obdurate refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish People.”

And once again, at least in part, Jerusalem is being recognized as the Jewish capital by Czech textbooks.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 7, 2016)


What do you think?