President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump also signaled his intent to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the city which both Israelis and Palestinians consider their capital.
Trump made the announcement despite fierce efforts to dissuade him from this course and warnings that the decision would sabotage his administration’s efforts, spearheaded by son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner, to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians after decades of failure.
The President went where no U.S. president has gone before when he made the announcement on Wednesday.
“This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality,” Trump said, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence in the Diplomatic Reception Room.
As a candidate for president, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, as did candidates Bill Clinton and George W. Bush before him.
On June 1, however, Trump followed Clinton and Bush in signing a waiver to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.
Trump chose this second waiver, which he signed, as an opportunity to change course.
“Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace,” Trump said.
“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added. “It would be folly to assume that repeating the same exact formula would now produce a different or better result.”
Israelis and Palestinians reacted to Trump’s announcement in starkly different terms.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on Twitter to thank Trump “for his courageous and just decision.”
Netanyahu added, “There is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”
But Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas denounced the move as “a reward to Israel.” Palestinian leaders announced three days of rage to protest the decision.
Middle East allies opposed
White House officials emphasised that the administration would continue to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and reaffirm its support for the status quo of the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s third-holiest shrine.
Still, Middle Eastern allies, whose company Trump has enjoyed in the White House and during his first foreign trip abroad, opposed the decision.
Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi warned the Jerusalem policy would “trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim world” and jeopardise the administration’s efforts to broker a deal between Israel and Palestinians.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned the policy could “widen the regional ripple effects by further complicating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; obstructing the ongoing peace process; and provoking the sentiments from the global Muslim community.”
(Pope who has been described as a non Christian by President Putin also waded in to condemn President Trump decision. The Pope has been seen from most quarters as been too political than a church leader and in fact he has demonstrated that with some utterances which makes his christian faith very questionable.)
Reaction was divided in Washington.
“True, holding off US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not result in peace,” tweeted Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, but the new policy “will likely make the situation much worse.” (the old policy didn’t help either, something new has to be adopted)
(All in all, this policy will probably resolve the problem in Jerusalem, The seal lips by the western leaders for over 20 years has not resolved the issues so far. Trump recognise same problem with same solution is not going to produce different result, for different result something different has got to be introduced hence his desire to pursue already in place policy.
The policy announced by President Trump on Wednesday has been agreed by the congress many years ago but past presidents have been using law waiver to put that aside. They obviously doesn’t have courage to make the announcement as they were always in favour of political correctness and afraid of the truth even when they promised to uphold the constitution at their various campaigns.
The video below shows past president’s failure to adhere to campaign promises and the congress)
But Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, dismissed warnings that the Jerusalem announcement will kill peace negotiations. “I think just the opposite,” he said.
Nihad Awad, national executive director for the Council for American-Islamic Relations, blasted Trump’s action as “offending the religious sensibilities of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, and empowering political and religious extremists of all stripes at home and abroad.”
(Why does everything has to result to violence, extremism and terrorism with Muslims? The announcement makes then breathing fire about violence and wide spread of extremists which in its self proofs President Trump right about his decision. Same solution to the same problem year in year out will not produce different results.)
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been a longstanding goal of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Executive Director Matt Brooks. “We are grateful to President Trump for making it a reality.”
Reaction from Capitol Hill
During his 11-minute remarks, Trump noted that the Senate unanimously passed the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2017 in June. That did not stop some senators from criticising Trump.
“The president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes at the wrong time and unnecessarily inflames the region,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in a statement.
Warner voted in favour of the Jerusalem recognition measure in June.
U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, a pro-Israel Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed support for the move.
“This decision is long overdue and helps correct a decades-long indignity,” said Engel, of New York.
Trump’s decision fell flat with Western European leaders.
British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons, “Our position has not changed.” The fate of Jerusalem, she said, should be “determined as part of a negotiated settlement.”
(with Islam a dominant presence in Great Britain it’s understandable why Britain have to criticise President Trump even if they believed otherwise)
The French embassy tweeted, “France does not approve of the United States’ decision on Jerusalem. France supports the two-state solution, with Israel & Palestine living in peace and security with Jerusalem as their capital. We must prioritise the easing of tensions and dialogue.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Germany for a brief stop, said planning for a Jerusalem embassy will start immediately — and that includes picking a site. But he said building the embassy will take time.
The administration contends it is a practical impossibility to move the embassy immediately. A senior administration official told reporters, “This will be a matter of some years. It won’t be immediate. It won’t be months. It won’t be quick.”
Pence is leaving later this month on an international trip that will take him to Israel and Egypt.
Pence tweeted, “Today, @POTUS took a historic step to make it clear America stands with our allies — especially our most cherished ally, Israel.”
Embassies on alert
U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Europe are warning Americans travelling or living there of the potential for violent protests after President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Within minutes of Trump’s announcement, the embassies in Turkey, Jordan, Germany and Britain issued security alerts urging Americans to exercise vigilance and caution. Other embassies are expected to follow suit.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara says it expects protests to take place near its location as well as the consulates in Istanbul and Adana.
The U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, says it would close to the public on Thursday and has banned employees from leaving the capital. The children of embassy employees have been told to stay home from school and all Americans there are advised to keep a low profile.
U.S. Embassies in Berlin, London and Minsk, Belarus issued identical warnings.
The whole uprising will soon die down anyway, Trump Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not make Jerusalem the capital. He has the right to recognise Jerusalem but making Jerusalem the capital is another thing. That’s entirely in the hands of Israel. Its probably the only way for peace in the Region where there has never be peace.
The Arab League says President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will lead to increased violence and also said its a violation of international law”.
(This is laughable really, Arab Nations who have no respect for any law or constitution outside of the Quran are talking about violation of international law when it doesn’t suit them.)
The foreign ministers of the organisation’s member states called on the United States to abandon the move and said it would seek a United Nations Security Council resolution rejecting the decision.
In a statement, they said President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday will lead to increased violence throughout the region.