Opinion: Opening Embassy in Jerusalem is ‘Wrong’

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Few days ago, Palestine penned Malawi President , Dr Lazarus Chakwera to reverse his plan of opening Malawi Embassy in the Holy City of Jerusalem in Israel.

Dr. Chakwera’s plan to have embassy in the city has meet strong resistance within and outside the country.

The Palestinian’s President Special Envoy, Hanan Jarrar last Wednesday delivered a letter to President Chakwera from Palestinian Government asking him to reverse his decision on the Embassy.

Jarrar upon his arrival in the country said any step taken to establish a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem constitutes a violation of relevant United Nations resolutions.

Chakwera who has been in power for less than five months announced after the election in June this year, that he will establish a diplomatic mission with Israel in Jerusalem.

If Chakwera’s plan will be actualised, Malawi would become the first African nation to have an Embassy in Jerusalem.

Mkaka, currently on a visit to Israel, called the decision a “bold and significant step”.

The Palestinian envoy said Jerusalem is still a disputed territory and called on all countries that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City.

According to Jarrar, the UN Security Council Resolution 476 (1980), recently reaffirmed by Resolution 2334 (2016), does not recognize any action that seeks to alter the character and status of Jerusalem.

“Under international law, East Jerusalem [including the Old City and its holy sites] are not legally part of Israel,” Jarrar said.

“Since Israel’s establishment in 1948, the US and the international community have refused to recognize the sovereignty of any country to any part of Jerusalem in the absence of a permanent Arab-Israeli peace agreement.” he says.

Israel considers the Holy City its eternal capital, but Palestinians want East Jerusalem, seized in a 1967 Middle East war, as part of a future state.

Giving out his opinion, on of the lawyers in the country , Sylvester James says Chakwera’s decision to have Malawi Embassy in Israel is buffing regarding to the fact that UN prohibits that.

“The President is one single person. He may be inspired by his religious beliefs to overstep in this manner, particularly considering that during the elections case he went to Jerusalem to pray for good results. He may feel he owes something spiritual to the land of Israel. But the nation is larger than the President. Much larger. Some such decisions have serious repercussions on more important interests in the international community. It is not for stupidity that no other African country has ever established their embassy in Jerusalem,”

“Malawi was only established in 1964. It’s a tiny nation, very difficult to locate on the globe. It is the poorest country in the world. These, plus many other factors, should put us in the cautious check every time we want to take such daring steps,” he wrote in his Facebook account wall.

According to James, there is a reason why the UN does not recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.

“UN resolutions are law. International law. Chakwera, a man who stepped to the Palace on the springboard of a promise of the Rule of Law becomes the first African President, and the fastest for that matter, to break international law,”

“Take your religion out of this and you will see how morally unsound, economically naive and politically myopic this decision is. But don’t come here to defend your flawed religious fundamentals. This country is bigger than your religion, whatever it is. And, certainly, the nation is much bigger than one man, whatever his position,” says James