Flavio Insinna, host of the popular Italian TV show “L’Eredità” will have to deliver this statement next time he goes on the air: “International law does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
This official order has been dictated by the Rome Court (Tribunale di Roma) which, on August 5, ruled in favor of two Italian pro-Palestine organizations against Italian national public broadcasting company RAI.
The story goes back to May 21, when a TV game show contestant was asked what is the capital of Israel. The answer “Tel Aviv” was deemed wrong. The right answer, the contestant was told, is “Jerusalem.”
The incident sparked a public debate in Italy. Italian foreign policy remains consistent with international law, which does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
On June 5, the host of the show, Insinna, tried to dampen the controversy, delivering a statement that read in part that “there are different views on the issue”.
However, Italian lawyers Fausto Gianelli and Dario Rossi, representing “Associazione Palestinesi in Italia” and “Associazione benefica di solidarietà con il popolo Palestinese” respectively, decided to take the case to court.
After deliberation, judge Cecilia Pratesi conveyed the much-anticipated ruling: “The Italian State does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
“It is well known that on December 21, 2017, Italy voted in favor of a UN General Assembly Resolution rejecting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the judge said.
“It is also well known that the UN itself repeatedly issued its opinion, condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem, and denying any legal validity to Israel’s decision to turn Jerusalem into its capital,” she added.
“UN Resolutions”, the verdict continued, “have to be considered as conventional law, directly applicable in our legal system.”