President Trump triggered an international crisis this morning when it was announced that he would be moving the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the divided city as Israel’s capital and infuriating every Muslim nation in the region.
The city of Jerusalem is claimed by both Israel and Palestine, and moving the embassy signifies that the United States has no intention of recognizing the Palestinian right to self-determination and is abandoning the prospect of a peaceful two-state solution in favor of Israeli dominance and the perpetuation of the proto-apartheid oppression.
All Palestinian factions immediately condemned the move and called for three Days of Rage in protest. They were joined in opposition by leaders from around the Middle East – Turkey’s Erdogan called it a “red line” while Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and the Arab League all expressed their displeasure with the move.
Even 25 former Israeli ambassadors, academics, and other prominent citizens wrote a letter to the Trump administration demanding they reconsider the risky move.
We are deeply concerned by recent reports that President Trump is seriously considering the announcement of his decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
The status of Jerusalem, the city that houses the holy sites of the three monotheistic religions, lies at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and must be determined within the context of resolving that conflict.
The announcement immediately backfired, as the Trump administration was quickly forced to ban U.S. citizens from traveling to certain parts of Israel and in a show of fresh humiliation announced there would be a “six-month delay” in moving the embassy after the entire region erupted in protest.
While the embassy move to Jerusalem and the symbolic abandoning of the Israel-Palestinian peace process is what far-right extremists in both America and Israel want to see, the consequences in the region at large could be severe.
Once again, President Trump is playing games with forces he doesn’t understand and cannot control; one shudders to think at the violence and instability that will result from his ignorance and his impulsive decisions.