• Eva Lopez

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Unleashes Worldwide Criticism

On December 6, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and set in motion the process of moving the U.S Embassy there. According to The New York Times, this action reversed nearly seven decades of American foreign policy which declined to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital since the country’s foundation in 1948---a policy followed by virtually every nation in the world. Trump declared that such policy had brought “no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.” According to AJ+, an online news and current events channel, the U.S will be the only country to have an embassy in Jerusalem.

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” President Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.” According to The New York Times, he also added that recognizing Jerusalem was something he promised during his election campaign, and “a long overdue step to advance the peace process.”

For many people this decision could bring little peace, however. Jerusalem’s ownership is one of the world’s most difficult and sensitive diplomatic issues. For this reason, Trump’s recognition has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders; Pope Francis and even the Chinese foreign ministry warned that “the move could unleash a wave of violence across the region.”

The president said this decision shouldn’t be construed as the United States taking a position on how the city might be shared, but he made no mention of Palestinian’s long-held hopes for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state. According to CNN, White House officials reported that President Donald Trump's decision has temporarily derailed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which they are “pretty sure” to be temporary. This set back was a cost the President was ready to accept, and officials acknowledged that “the President's peace team has not spoken with furious Palestinian officials since the Trump's announcement.”

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