In a move that derails almost seven decades of American foreign policy and any efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, President Donald Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there.
During his campaign, President Trump appealed to evangelicals and conservative pro-Israel American Jews by vowing to move the embassy. In an administration facing heavy criticism for failed campaign promises, Trump is determined to keep this one despite the advice of diplomatic experts and other world leaders.
Trump plans to sign a national security waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for an additional six months. Officials say the process will take several years.
More significantly, Trump will announce his formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in a formal speech at the White House. He will become the first American president to take that step since the founding of Israel in 1948.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump told him of his intentions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Abbas said he warned the president there would be grave consequences, and possible violence, if he did.
Today Donald Trump said he intends to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, despite a clear warning from the State Dept’s security arm that this would almost definitely lead to violent protests at US embassies & consulates, and endanger American diplomats across the world.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 5, 2017
No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem. Some of the United States’ most vital allies expressed serious concerns that unilaterally recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital will have dire consequences. They fear Trump doesn’t understand the impact of his decision, both in violence in the region and for any chance of a diplomatic settlement to the decades-old Middle East crisis.
While officials in the Trump administration said that this move could jump-start peace, Hanan Ashrawi, who sits on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee grimaced and said they would instead “scuttle peace.”
When you look at a place that is on the verge of an explosion, you do not introduce a flame.”
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