Donald Trump Plans to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem


The president of United States Donald Trump on 4th December, 2017 declared that the US has decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and consequently the US embassy in Tel Aviv would be shifted to Jerusalem. This decision is a marked deviation of seven-decade old US policy of keeping safe distance from this burning issue which is also the point of contention between Israel and Palestine. Many believe this decision would negatively impact the Israel-Palestine peace process, and some of US’s political allies have already expressed their dismay at this decision of Trump (Landler and Halbfinger, 2017 December 5).

In addition to this Donald Trump declared that the decision is in alignment with the greater interest of United States and Israel, and that the decision would facilitate the Middle East peace process. Trump reiterates that not recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital has not borne any positive outcome of the peace process. Trump also states that the previous presidents of US made political mistake by not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, one of the most “successful democracies” in the world. He reasons that the same failed assumptions and same failed strategies are not going to bring about any positive outcome of the peace process between Israel on one hand and Palestine and Hamas on the other. According to the president all challenges demand new approaches and recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital would mark a new approach to solving Israel-Palestine conflict (Landler and Halbfinger, 2017 December 5).
The general people of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, and other Middle East countries are highly dissatisfied with the unexpected decision of the US president. Officials of the Palestinian establishment condemned Trump’s decision and warned that this would bolster extremist organization’s courage to wage holy war, and the US would lose all credibility as regards Israel-Palestinian peace process. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sated in a televised address that such a move would intensify religious war in the region and the region would slip into a state of never ending war (Smith-Spark, 2017 December 7).
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat has expressed his frustration by saying US has no longer any legitimate role to play in the ongoing peace process between Israel and Palestine. Islamist group Hamas has called for abandoning the peace process and urged Palestinians to start a new uprising against this decision of Trump. The group has already responded to the decision by launching rocket attacks against Israel. Fighting between Palestinians and Israeli troops have been reported in West Bank and Gaza strip (Williams and Mughrabi, 2017 December 7).
The government of Israel highly praised Trump for taking this historic decision and called all the heads of the states to follow suit. Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel for last 3,000 years and the decision of Trump is an important step towards peace process as there can be no peace without Jerusalem being the capital of Israel (Smith-Spark, 2017 December 7).  
Prior to 1980 some countries including Netherland, El Salvadore, and Costa Rica had their capitals in Jerusalem. In that year Israel passed a law making Jerusalem the united capital of Israel. United Nations condemned this and termed Israel’s annexation as violation of international law. Hence the countries which had their capitals in Jerusalem shifted their capitals to Tel Aviv (Liebermann, 2017 December 7).
The status of Jerusalem is a highly controversial international issue. Both Israel and Palestinian claim Jerusalem as theirs. The international community, including USA and European countries have stayed clear of interfering with the issue as the international consensus have been that the issue should be resolved in accordance with the peace process and after fruitfully engaging the contending claimants. This has been also been internationally apprehended that any unilateral solution to the issue would escalate the Middle East crisis to an unprecedented scale.









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