The capital of Israel

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

Your site incorrectly lists Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is not the officially recognized capital of Israel. Only two countries around the world, Guatemala and El Salvador, have recognized it as such. Countries such as the USA, Canada and all European nations only recognize Tel-Aviv as the capital and hence maintain their embassies there. Please change the reference to reflect Israel's proper capital. Thanks.

The Answer:

Thanks for writing. All major encyclopedias (Columbia, Britannica, World Book) and dictionaries (Merriam-Webster, Random House, American Heritage) list Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Please note that in our profile of Israel we include a footnote to our listing of Jerusalem as Israel's capital: "Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the U.S., like nearly all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv."

This is exactly how the CIA World Factbook, published by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, handles this issue in its profile of Israel.

-The Fact Monster

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