The Republic of Vanuatu, an island state in the Pacific Ocean, has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The small Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision follows a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) anti-Israel resolution from October 2016 that denies Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale, an evangelical Christian, expressed a strong connection to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. During a meeting with Vanuatu’s honorary consul to Israel, the issue of the UNESCO vote came up, and Lonsdale said he was disappointed in the results as well as in his country’s acceptance, which he apparently viewed as a mistake.
Lonsdale later signed a document stating that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital and condemning the UNESCO resolution. He also expressed an interest in visiting Israel, which would be the first by a president of that nation.
Vanuatu is an 83-island archipelago situated between Australia and Fiji, with a population of about 300,000. Israel’s ambassador to Vanuatu and to other Pacific island nations, Tibor Shalev Schlosser, works out of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Vanuatu has an honorary consulate in Israel.
UNESCO’s anti-Israel resolution led to a harsh Israeli response that sought to send a strong message to the member states that did not oppose the resolution. The action has recently begun to yield positive results.
The lower chamber of the Czech parliament passed two pro-Israel resolutions, one calling on the government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the other calling for withholding funds from UNESCO over its anti-Israel stance.
In April, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement recognizing western Jerusalem—but not the entire city—as Israel’s capital.
By: United with Israel Staff and JNS.org