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Matt Rosenberg

Costa Rica Moves Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

By August 16, 2006

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Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two countries with their embassies in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Now, Costa Rica has moved its embassy to Tel Aviv, along with almost every other country. While many nations maintain consulates (such as the United States) in the capital city, only El Salvador maintains its embassy in Jerusalem. But, for how long? Share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below...

Update: Costa Rican President Oscar Arias stated the reason for the move, "It is time to amend an historic mistake which harms our country in the international arena and prevents us from maintaining friendly ties with the Arab world and the culture of Islam." More from the president at The Jerusalem Post.


August 16, 2006 at 6:55 pm
(1) Benjamin says:

I’m a Salvadoran, and what I can tell you about my people as that even in the face of danger we are very stubborn, and determined. You’d be suprised as to how long they’ll hold out…I believe other nations will have to tell them to get out before they consider…it’s all over our history, we don’t lay down. :)

August 16, 2006 at 9:04 pm
(2) nELSON says:

Actually Jerusalem was Palestine and still is, some of our presidents are decendants of Palestine immigrants in El Salvador and my country still recognize old border you wonder why? Nothing against the Jews we like them too, we were the only Latin American country to take more immigrants from israel in the middle of WWII more than 75 thousand came but, to Salvys this is a holy city. Costarrican they are bunch of qussies they always have and they always will.

August 17, 2006 at 12:43 am
(3) Catholicgauze says:

Did Costa Rica give a reason? I know there is geopolitics involved but moving an embassy takes money (which makes the world go round)

August 17, 2006 at 12:19 pm
(4) Mehdi Eshraqi says:

Hi Matt ,
please links to this Conference in Iran (Isfahan) – The international congress of the Islamic world geographers http://ui.ac.ir/iic/E/cong/15.htm and Please this link : http://www.PersianGeo.com ; Persian Geo is a Geography E-journal .

August 17, 2006 at 2:41 pm
(5) Ed says:

Jerusalem should become the Capital of world religion. A neutral city if you will. A place where Muslim, Christian, and Jew can worship in peace. Claim by no one and owned by All. A place to be guarded by un-armed police with volunteers from every part of the world. Unfortunately our narrow minded politicians, wether from Israel, Iran or the U.S. will never let this happen. El Salvador maintains its Capital in Jerusalem because it accepts it as the place of birth of Jesus Christ, not as a favor to Israel.

August 18, 2006 at 4:36 am
(6) Iain Frew says:

Tel Aviv was, and ought still to be the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was declared an International City by the United Nations many years ago because of its unique position in the faith world. To Jews, Christians, and Muslims it is a very special place and has to be shared jointly by all the interested parties. However Israel wanted to control this city since this is where the Temple stood and the Western Wall remains a key centre for their worship. Israel subsequently declared the International City as its capital and the USA supported this move although most other countries do not. The steady move of Embassies etc fropm Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is a sign of this situation. The dispute with the Palestinians centres parly on the fact that both the Israelis and the Palestinians want to have jerusalem as their capital. The Palestinians would be happy to have just East Jerusalem but the Temple site lies within that section so a division along such lines is not possible for Israel.
Iain Frew.

August 18, 2006 at 8:45 am
(7) Barry Flanagan says:

The Jewish colony in Palestine had no right to overrun West Jerusalem in ’48 and Israel had no right to overrun East Jerusalem in ’67. Costa Rica did the right thing in returning its embassy to Tel Aviv. Israeli intransigence should not be rewarded.

August 18, 2006 at 9:27 am
(8) Peter says:

UN says Jerusalem is an international city, Israel has no right to claim all of it. Their capital is Tel Aviv as recognized by every other country (except El Salvador and Costa Rica).

August 18, 2006 at 10:12 am
(9) Scott says:

When the Arabs controlled the West Bank between 1948 and 1967, Jews were cut off from the Jerusalem and not allowed to pray at the Western Wall, THE HOLIEST SITE IN JUDAISM. However when Israel is in control, she makes it open to all religions.

In an ideal world, Jerusalem as an international city is a fine idea. But given the reality of geopolitical circumstances it is not practical.

August 18, 2006 at 12:06 pm
(10) ariel says:

In Response to #6: Tel Aviv was never considered by israel to be the official capital of Israel. Between 1948 and 1967 when Israel did not have full control over Jerusalem, all government agencies were centered in Tel Aviv, but Jerusalem was always considered the capital. Once Israel gained control it moved its infrastructure to Jerusalem.
In response to #7: The problem is not whether Israel had a “right to overrun West Jerusalem in 48 and [...] to overrun East Jerusalem in 67,” but whether 5 (or 8, counting yemen, SA and Libya) had the “right” to attack an internationally recognized nation after the UN divided the disputed region equally between Israel and Jordan/Egypt, and whether Egypt had the “right” to blockade the Strait of Tiran and ask UN officials to leave the border in preparation for war.
And yes, a naval blockade is considered a seige, which is an act of war.

August 18, 2006 at 12:27 pm
(11) Catholicgauze says:

The UN did consider Jerusalem an international city but no longer does. It was never under international control.

August 18, 2006 at 3:59 pm
(12) Catholicgauze says:

Ah, thanks for the update. So the move was for “better relations” (more money from the Arab world).

Nothing like a Israel post to bring out the comments.

August 18, 2006 at 5:30 pm
(13) G. Donahue says:

Is the placement of embassies in Tel Aviv vs. Jerusalem a decision that is being made because of bullying and intimidation? If that’s the case, such a decision should be viewed as unacceptable. Establishing an embassy in any nation should meet with the approval of both the host’s nation’s government and the government that is seeking to establish a diplomatic presence in that host nation. Other nations should not be able to unduly influence such a decision. If the governments of Israel and any other national entity are in harmony on the placement of a diplomatic mission, then there is nothing out of line with a move to either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Ultimately, the world and the nations of the Levant region, must accept that Israel is a nation state in its own right. A nation state with a right to exist in Palestine and a nation state with a rightful claim to at least part of the city of Jerusalem.

August 18, 2006 at 9:33 pm
(14) Gail Lobock says:

Before I read about the Arabs being the reason that Costa Rica moved it’s embassy, I looked in my crystal ball and figured it out.
Costa Rica and El Salvador – 2 of the poorest countries on earth. How quaint. Wonder who paid for this move…The Arabs have their tentacles everywhere, don’t they? Where are they when a natural catastrophe hits Central America or South America or anywhere else in the world? Sitting with their hands on explosives aimed for Israel. Where are the Israelis when a natural catastrophe happens? At the natural catastrophe with tons of food and medical supplies, doctors and nurses, etc., etc., etc.
But Arab money talks and Jewish good deeds walk. What else is new in the world?

August 19, 2006 at 4:01 am
(15) Farooq Memon says:

The fact that only two remote and tiny Central American countries maintain their embassies in Jerusalem, (one of which reaslising an earlier mistake) has switched over to Tel Aviv, speaks about the illegality of the Israeli regime in declaring Jerusalem as its capital. After all which other country has made an occupied city as its capital.

August 20, 2006 at 8:50 pm
(16) E. Hansen says:

Technically, there is no such thing as a “Palestine.” After many of the Jews were expelled from the land in 70 A.D. after the destruction of the temple, the Roman emperor Hadrian renamed the land of Israel “palestina” in 135 A.D.after the extinct people group the Philistines who were Israel’s enemies of the past. the goal was to eradicate all Jewish association with the land.

August 9, 2008 at 10:26 pm
(17) Antonio says:

To Gail Lobock I quote “Costa Rica and El Salvador – 2 of the poorest countries on earth” You sure sound ignorant. As is truth that most of the Central American countries has endure civil war, this has not been the case for Costa Rica. I would like to point that Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948 and enjoys one of the highest starndards of living among Latin American countries.
But of course Costa Rica does not get the $3 billion dollars the US pumps into Israel.

Finally here in Costa Rica would like for all of you to grow up and end this child like conflict between the Arab world and Israel. Common life is too short to be making war over land. One proud Tico.(Costa Rican). Peace all!

August 12, 2008 at 8:57 am
(18) Jose Antonio says:

Genesis 12:3

September 22, 2011 at 1:22 am
(19) Mike says:

Jerusalem is central to Judiasm. Why would a Jewish Country not have Jerusalem as its capital? It is the obvious choice.

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