Cheers from Israel and cries of disapproval from U.S. Arab allies and enemies could be heard across the world after President Donald Trump’s announcement and public recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On December 6th, the Trump administration declared that the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially designating Jerusalem as the capital.
Given the high risks and low rewards, the move is puzzling, considering that the fleeting ceasefire in the Middle East is very fragile. Critics of the decision argue that the announcement signals the end of attempts at peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Arab allies of the United States have repeatedly called for a reconsideration; however, the damage has been dealt and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will have to give up his plans for reviving peace talks.
Since 1947, the United Nations has maintained that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel; eighty-three countries currently have embassies in Tel Aviv, whereas no country has an embassy in Jerusalem.
The defense from the White House followed the decision as swiftly as the criticism, calling the move a “recognition of reality.” In fact, U.S. law recognizes Jerusalem as the current capital of Israel, after the legislation was passed in 1995. Presidents since then, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have used waivers to continuously postpone the move due to concerns about national security and stability within the region.
Critics further argue that this decision might lead to violent protests, endangering diplomatic and military personnel abroad. Additionally, it could feed the propaganda weapon of militant groups and hostile nations such as Iran.
Information in this story is from cnn.com.
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