Czech has historically stood by Israel, and this action further underscores its support for the Jewish nation. Nonetheless, the decision is contentious, given that both Israel and Palestine regard Jerusalem as their capital. Moreover, Jerusalem holds numerous holy places revered by both Jews and Muslims.
The residence of the Israeli prime minister and the parliament are located in West Jerusalem, an area Israel has overseen since the 1940s. East Jerusalem, which Israel took control of in 1967, is viewed as occupied territory by a significant portion of the global community.
Palestine aims to partition the city and formally establish East Jerusalem as its capital.
At present, the Czech diplomatic office is situated in Jerusalem, but the main embassy is in Tel Aviv.
Fiala has expressed longstanding support for moving the Czech Embassy to Jerusalem and believes it’s a timely decision. He plans to consult with his coalition partners on the next steps. He also mentioned that the issue could be settled within a few months.
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, representing the Pirates and Greens/EFA, opposes the relocation. He acknowledges the persistent desire within a segment of Czech society to move the embassy to Jerusalem. However, he stated that the three fundamental criteria needed for such a shift are currently unfulfilled.
Lipavský firmly believes that an embassy relocation might infringe upon international law, go against the EU’s position, and be perceived as a security threat, potentially intensifying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Considering the pivotal role the foreign minister has in such a move, the prime minister’s suggestion might not come to fruition.
Czech President Petr Pavel has expressed reservations about the situation. He believes that considering Israel’s current state of conflict, discussions about relocating the embassy are untimely. He emphasizes the importance of showing unified support for Israel within Czech political circles and on the European Union and other international stages.
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