Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Israels Capital And Orders Us Embassy To Move
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this article
WASHINGTON President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.
Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israels capital, Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. Its something that has to be done.
The president cast his decision as a break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which the United States, along with virtually every other nation in the world, has declined to recognize as the capital since Israels founding in 1948. That policy, he said, brought us no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result, Mr. Trump declared.
Recognizing Jerusalem, he added, was a long overdue step to advance the peace process.
There will of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement, the president said. He appealed for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.
Biden Admin Takes Major Step To Roll Back Trumps Jerusalem Embassy Move
The Biden administration elevated diplomatic relations with the Palestinian government, in what diplomats warn is the first step to walking back the United States historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.
The State Department confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that a new Office of Palestinian Affairs will be established in Jerusalem and act independently of the U.S. ambassador to Israels office there. The formation of a separate diplomatic office bolsters U.S. relations with the Palestinian government and could violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandated that a single U.S. embassy be established in the holy city.
The State Department also confirmed that it is working to go even furtheropening an official Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem wholly independent of the U.S. embassy in Israel. Attempts to establish this diplomatic facility have been stymied by Israels opposition to the move, and the recent formation of the Palestinian Affairs office is viewed as a temporary workaround. That would set the stage for Jerusalem to once again be viewed by the United States as divided between Israeli and Palestinian territories.
A State Department spokesman, speaking only on background, confirmed the creation of the new Palestinian office and said U.S. diplomats in the region are pressing the Israeli government to allow the full reopening of the Palestinian consulate. The Israeli government opposes this move.
What Moving The Us Embassy To Jerusalem Means For Israeli
The U.S. Embassy will open in Jerusalem on Monday, in what President Donald Trump called a long overdue step to advance the peace process when he announced the embassys relocation from Tel Aviv in December.
It was both a political move, fulfilling one of the presidents campaign promises, and a symbolic one marking the United States official recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.
It also was controversial while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it as a great day for the people of Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said it proved the U.S. could no longer be a neutral broker in any peace negotiation.
Palestinians assert that the eastern portion of Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state. Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem from Jordan after the 1967 Middle East war.
We asked experts what to expect from Mondays ribbon-cutting and what the opening will mean for the U.S. relationship with Israel and the region.
You May Like: What’s Trump’s Rating
Palestinian Authority And Hamas
Palestinian officials said the announcement disqualifies the United States from peace talks. Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah said the policy change “destroys the peace process”. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech where he said the decision meant the United States was “abdicating its role as a peace mediator”. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki similarly said the United States could no longer act as a mediator in the peace process because it had become a party to the dispute.Adnan al-Husayni asked the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Hamas called for a new intifada, but the response from Palestinians inside Jerusalem was relatively muted. Protests were held in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians burned portraits and effigies of Donald Trump and tore pictures of Salman bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Salman in protest of the embassy move. The Israel military estimated that 3,000 people in the West Bank and 4,500 in the Gaza Strip participated in protests on December 8, 2017.
What’s Likely To Happen Next
Since the announcement there has been tension, with Palestinian protests in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops in Gaza during a six-week border protest.
That protest culminates on May 15, a day Palestinians traditionally lament homes and land lost as Israel was created in 1948, given extra significance this year because it falls on the day after the U.S. Embassy move.
Although clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces have not been on the scale of the first and second Palestinian intifadas in 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, violence has erupted before over matters of sovereignty and religion.
In 1969 an Australian Messianic Christian tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque, causing damage. So charged was the Middle East’s political climate – just two years after the Six Day War – there was fury across the Arab world.
In 2000, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon, then opposition leader, led a group of Israeli lawmakers onto the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif complex. Palestinians protested and there were clashes that quickly escalated into the second Palestinian uprising, known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Deadly confrontations took place last July after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the complex after the killing of two Israeli policemen by Arab-Israeli gunmen.
Also Check: How To Work For Trump Campaign
Who Will Be There On Monday
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is leading the U.S. delegation, which includes:
- U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman
- Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin
- Jared Kushner, assistant and senior adviser to the president
- Ivanka Trump, assistant and adviser to the president
- Jason Greenblatt, assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations
Protests at the Gaza border demanding the return of Palestinian refugees are planned for one more day after Mondays ceremony. I wouldnt be surprised if the American delegation hightails it out of town on the night of the 14th, so if protests escalate the following day, they are not in Israel for it, said Tamara Wittes, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.
Palestinian demonstrators run from tear gas fired by Israeli forces during a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip on May 11. Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
What Is The City’s Moder History And Status
In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly decided the then British-ruled Palestine should be partitioned into an Arab state and a Jewish state. But it recognized that Jerusalem had special status and proposed international rule for the city, along with nearby Bethlehem, as a ‘corpus separatum’ to be administered by the United Nations.
That never happened. When British rule ended in 1948, Jordanian forces occupied the Old City and Arab East Jerusalem. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.
In 1980 the Israeli parliament passed a law declaring the “complete and united” city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. But the United Nations regards East Jerusalem as occupied, and the city’s status as disputed until resolved by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The king of Jordan retains a role in ensuring the upkeep of the Muslim holy places.
Recommended Reading: How To Volunteer For The Trump Campaign
How Does Trump View Israel
Lovatt described Trump’s foreign policy on Israel as adopting “no coherent position.”
But, the Times of Israel reported David Friedman Trump’s proposed ambassador to the country as saying that “a two state solution is not a priority.” Lovatt described Friedman as being “very supportive of the settlement enterprise.”
Trump Makes Campaign Promise
During the 2016 US presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump promised that, if elected, he would relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, describing the holy city as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” Trump’s declaration attracted a great deal of fervor within Israel and won over scores of Jewish and Evangelical voters in the US.
Don’t Miss: How To Contact President Trump Directly
Global Islamophobia Follows Trumps Embassy Move
December 7, 2017 by Robert Spencer
President Trump displayed more courage and integrity Wednesday than Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ever did when he ended twenty-two years of waivers postponing the U.S. Embassy to Israels move to Jerusalem, declared that the U.S. recognized that Jerusalem was Israels capital, and announced that preparations for the embassy move would begin forthwith. And the world reacted withIslamophobia.
Today, Trump said, we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israels capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. Its something that has to be done. He added: This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians.The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement.
Why were all these leaders, and many more, lining up against the move? Because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world. And Jordans King Abdullah said the move would undermine efforts to resume the peace process.
Trump Visits Jerusalem’s Western Wall
In May 2017, Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall. The site is located in Jerusalem’s Old City, which Israel forces captured during the 1967 Six-Day War. According to reports, Trump considered fulfilling his Jerusalem pledge during the visit, but was advised against such a move by foreign policy officials who feared it would only stoke regional tensions.
You May Like: Where Is Ivanka Trump Now
What Changes Will The Relocation Bring
The new embassy will initially be located in the current U.S. consulate in Jerusalem while the government looks for a permanent site.
By announcing the move, Trump was acknowledging the reality that Jerusalem has been Israels capital since 1949 and that Israelis and Palestinians must resolve their respective claims, including contested borders, among themselves, wrote David Makovsky and Dennis Ross for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The move will not, however, prevent a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem or change the fact that the two parties will need to negotiate the status of Jerusalem as part of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Wittes said. Still, it does mark a shift in Americas relationship with the Palestinians, she said.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem acted as an independent mission representing the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority. Now that the embassy is moving there, it will serve all Israelis and Palestinians. Thats a big change, Wittes said, especially with the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization boycotting engagement with American diplomats. You have the loss of a diplomatic channel both physically and verbally.
Donald Trump To Recognise Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Move Us Embassy
Officials confirm that US president will break with decades of diplomacy in a move many warn will trigger unrest in the region
Donald Trump will declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, the White House has said, breaking with years of precedent and potentially leading to unpredictable consequences for the Middle East.
The region is braced for the prospect of unrest in anticipation of the declaration, due at 1pm in Washington, and US embassies around the world have been advised by the state department to bolster their security.
US government employees have been told to avoid Jerusalems Old City and the West Bank until further notice.
In his remarks to be delivered in a diplomatic reception room in the White House, Trump will base his decision on ancient history and current political realities that the Israeli legislature and many government offices are in Jerusalem. He will also order the state department to start the process of planning and building a new US embassy in Jerusalem, but White House officials said that process would take at least three years.
Officials made clear that Trump would not follow the practice of his predecessors, who used the waiver to prevent any action on the embassy move to avoid derailing any progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Don’t Miss: How Old Are Trump And Biden
How Did Obama Leave Things
In the closing days of former U.S. President Barack Obama‘s government, tension sparked with historical ally Israel after the U.S. abstained from voting on a resolution at the UN Security Council which demanded an end to Israeli settlement building on territory considered to be Palestinian. A war of words followed between Netanyahu and then Secretary of State John Kerry.
Earlier in December, Obama signed the waiver ordering the U.S. embassy in Israel to remain in Tel Aviv.
Follow CNBC International on and .
Years Of Support For The State Of Israel
70 years ago, President Truman recognized the State of Israel. That was a very bold move. But Truman stood up to vociferous opposition from within his own senior members of his cabinet. Now, exactly 70 years later to the day President Trump made the bold move and officially moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked President Trump for keeping his promise. Netanyahu proudly exclaimed, Remember this moment!
In a show of complete deference and thanks, Netanyahu went on to praise the entire leadership of the United States of America. He claimed, We have no better friends in the whole world. What a glorious day.
Recommended Reading: What Is President Donald Trump’s Approval Rating
Serious Repercussions: Peace Violence And The International Order
The United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital, though in technical terms may be more symbolic at this time, has significant political implications for the region. While Israel has controlled Jerusalem for decades, this step threatens any remaining prospects for the two-state solution, Palestinian statehood, and East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Further, Jerusalem has a special symbolic significance not only among Palestinians but also Arabs and Muslims alike recognizing it as Israels capital might prove disastrous for the region and for US diplomacy.
Regarding the anticipated protests, President Trump made sure in his statement to paint any opposition as radical he called for calm and moderation, all the while announcing one of the most extreme decisions in US history. He called on people and leaders in the region to expel extremism and respond with reasoned debate, while his very decision holds no reason and would likely fuel extremists and provide fodder for violent groups to recruit members and incite violence.
The status of Jerusalem must be decided through negotiations along with other final-status issues. This has been the unequivocal international opinion and long-standing US policy. The most significant result of a decision of this scale by President Trump is breaking with decades of US policy, through unilaterally endorsing a final status on Jerusalem outside the framework of negotiations, just solutions, and international law.
Why Does Jerusalem Play Such An Important Role
Religion, politics and history.
Jerusalem is a city sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and each religion has sites of great significance there. Jerusalem has been fought over for millennia by its inhabitants, and by regional powers and invaders including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, early Muslim rulers, Crusaders, Ottomans, the British Empire and by the modern states of Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jews call the city Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim, and Arabs call it Al-Quds .
At the heart of Jerusalems Old City is the hill known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary. It was home to the Jewish temples of antiquity but all that remains above ground is a restraining wall for the foundations built by Herod the Great. Known as the Western Wall, this is a sacred place of prayer for Jews.
Within yards of the wall are two Muslim holy places, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built in the 8th century. Muslims regard the site as the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. The city is also a pilgrimage site for Christians, who revere it as the place where they believe Jesus Christ preached, died and was resurrected.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Send Email To President Trump