Despite being warned by world leaders not to do so, President Trump today fulfilled a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to move the US Embassy there in recognition.
The President’s move was met by warnings and ridicule by governments around the world. Just about every nation condemned the move, except for Israel. It is thought that the move will spark protests and possibly attacks around the world.
Following the announcement, Turkey threatened to sever relations with Israel. Saeb Erekat, the PLO negotiator, said that should the US go ahead with the move it would disqualify itself from “any role in any initiative towards achieving a just and lasting peace”. Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza strip, has threatened a new intifada. King Abdullah of Jordan cautioned that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would play into the hands of terrorists and enable them to “spread their ideologies”.
Israels attempt to have Jerusalem recognized as it’s capital is widely considered to be a land grab by most Arab countries. Currently, Jerusalem is a city that is open and claimed by many different groups and religions. The fear is that once Jerusalem is recognized as Israel’s capital, Israel will will a more legitimate claim to police and control the population of the city, an authority that isn’t fully recognized now. Jews, Christians and Muslims all lay claim to sites in the city. Muslims consider Jerusalem the third most significant location of their religion.
World opposition was so evident against Trump’s decision, a resolution condemning was passed in the United Nations with a vote of 128-9, with Israel and the US being two of the 9 countries opposed. Prior to the vote, the outcry against Trump’s policy was so clear that US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley threatened US allies to vote with the US. Only 7 countries did. (Haley Threatens UN).Tweet