What countries support US in declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital (other than Israel)?


What countries support US in declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital?

2017-12-25 Guatemala

BBC report that

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has ordered the country's embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem.

Last week, Guatemala was one of only nine nations to vote against a UN resolution urging America to reverse its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to nations that voted against the US.

The US is an important aid donor to Guatemala, an impoverished Central American country.

2017-12-22 Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo

BBC Report:

The UN General Assembly has decisively backed a resolution effectively calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ... The nine who voted against the resolution were the US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo

2017-11-30 Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru

At the date the question was asked here, there had not been a UN resolution on this specific topic but the USA had some allies when opposing a recent UN resolution on Israel's actions in East Jerusalem at a time when Trump's intention to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem was under public discussion.

So, arguably, these countries have been supportive of the recent US positions on the status of Jerusalem:

  • Canada
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru

(excluding Israel as asked)

According to UN General Assembly Declaring Israel’s Actions in Syrian Golan, East Jerusalem ‘Null and Void’, 30 November 2017

After the debate concluded, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution “Jerusalem” (document A/72/L.11) by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo).

(my emphasis).

According to the Jerusalem Post on 1 December 2017:

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions.

The resolution came as the Trump Administration was rumored to be actively considering relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

In New York, only six countries out of 193 UN member states fully supported Israel’s ties Jerusalem: Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and Israel itself.

(my emphasis)

Canada's position is weakly stated

As reported by "Canada's national public broadcaster" CBC on 6 December 2017 - "While Western allies criticize Trump's Jerusalem move, Canada remains muted"

at the United Nations, Canada under Trudeau continues to block resolutions condemning Israeli actions in the occupied territories — alongside the U.S., Israel and a small coterie of Pacific island nations that depend heavily on the U.S. and traditionally vote in lockstep with it.


In the question "What countries support US in declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital?"


The official government of a sovereign state of the sort recognised by the UN, plus a few that are not recognised by the UN but which meet the normal conditions - e.g. Republic of China


Any of a number of supportive statements or actions including (roughly in order of significance from least to most)

  1. Conspicuously remaining silent on the issue when pressed or conspicuously abstaining in votes in the UN on resolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem.

  2. statements by people normally regarded as official spokespersons of the government of a country, using media normally regarded as reliable reporters of such statments, which express support for the US relocation of its embassy in Israel.

  3. voting the same as the US in the UN SC or GA on resolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem.

  4. announcements (see 2.) by the representatives of a government of another country of intent to relocate their embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

  • 2
    While Canada's opposition to the US's recognition of Jerusalem hasn't been as full-throated as most Western countries, they're not following the US's lead either; Canada's embassy is staying in Tel Aviv (see the first line in the above linked article). Whether they "support" the move depends on what you mean by "support", I suppose. – Michael Seifert Dec 14 '17 at 17:15

I think it is important to first quickly go through the history of the conflict.

[history]Palestine was an Ottoman territory in the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century it came under British control. During this era, the region experienced massive Jewish immigration and Jews went from constituting about 5% of the popuation to 32%.

The region underwent ethnic conflict between the immigrating, or Zionist, Jews and the Arabs, as the latter group feared that the country would be taken over by the former group.

In 1947, the United Nations issued a partition plan for Palestine in which half the territory was to be made into a Jewish state and the other half an Arab one. Jerusalem was to be made an international regime, administered by the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The Zionist Jews accepted the plan, while the Arabs rejected it.

War broke out in Palestine, leading to the newly declared State of Israel capturing 78% of the region and Jordan and Egypt capturing the remaining 22%. Jordan and Israel each captured half of Jerusalem. The Jordanian eastern side became known as East Jerusalem and the Israeli side West Jerusalem. Notably, the Jordanian side included the important Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex.

In the Six day war in 1967, Israel captured the West Bank (plus the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai. But those territories are irrelevant for the Jerusalem question). In 1980, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) passed the Basic law: Jerusalem the capital of Israel. The law was (more or less, I'm skipping over the nuances) equivalent to claiming Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

The UN Security Council expressed its disagreement with that law by passing UN Sec 478, condemning Israel for the annexation. Importantly, the resolution called upon "those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City." This caused several states to relocate their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.[/history]

So it is in this historical light the question needs to be analyzed. Initially in 1947, the UN General Assembly endorsed making Jerusalem international regime, meaning that the city could not be the capital of Israel.

Then West Jerusalem was captured in 1948 and is now de facto sovereign Israeli territory. The question is then have countries that voted in favor of the partition plan changed their mind? Yes is the answer, most countries have abandoned the plan and now implicitly recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli territory.

For example, the EU does not accept Israeli goods that is labelled "made in Israel" when they are made in settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. But the EU has no problem with the "made in Israel" label on goods produced in West Jerusalem. This implies that the EU considers that territory to be Israeli.

The question of what city is Israel's capital is distinct from the question of recognized sovereignty. Designating cities as capitals, or administrative seats, are domestic affairs and it is not like the international community has any power to "decide" what a country's capital is. Therefore when Trump insists on moving the embassy, it is a purely symbolic move.

My point is that your question "What countries support US in declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital?" entails much more. For example, earlier this year Russia declared West Jersualem to be Israel's capital. But it also insisted on that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. That declaration didn't cause any fervor because claiming that West Jerusalem is Israel's capital isn't very controversial. But the US embassy move act, in defiance of UN Sec 478, is equivalent to claiming that both East and West Jerusalem belongs to Israel.

As of now, the only two states that recognizes Israel sovereignty over East Jerusalem are Israel itself and the United States. RedGrittyBrick enumerates several countries that have voted against, or abstained from, resolutions criticising Israel. But that is not exactly the same as endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the whole city which the Trump administration is now doing.


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