In a move that will have huge ramification on the entire Middle-East politics, US President Donald Trump has reversed age-old US policy and announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move is a fraught one and promises to start a fresh upsurge of violence in the area vis a vis Palestine. It will effective trash all Middle East peace efforts.
The controversial decision, which was promised by Trump during his 2016 campaign and appeals to his right-wing base, could lead to massive protests in the Middle East and elsewhere, Arab leaders warned. “I have determined it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It is recognition of a reality.
Speaking from the White House, Donald Trump said, “I am also directing the State Department to immediately begin the process of US embassy in Jerusalem.”
He said that it was a long overdue step. “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world.”Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and beliefs,” the President said.
Earlier, Trump administration officials cast the president’s impending announcement as a simple acknowledgment of the “historical and current reality” of Jerusalem, which Israel effectively controls but whose status has been contested for centuries. But any presidential pronouncement even couched as Trump’s personal opinion breaks from Washington’s painstakingly maintained position of neutrality, which has held that the city’s ultimate fate must be determined through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation.
Jerusalem has been the bone of contention between Israelis and Palestinians as the Jewish nation sees the city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians consider the majority-Arab East Jerusalem to be the future seat of an independent Palestine. In the light of the conflict around, no country keeps its embassy there, and the long-standing position of every nation including the US has been that Jerusalem’s final status would depend on a long-pending (and unlikely, as of now) lasting peace deal. The United States, like the rest of the world, hasn’t recognized Jerusalem despite Israel’s government been footed there since its founding in 1948.