Upending decades of foreign policy and diplomatic efforts, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem – a disputed territory and the subject of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians – as the Israeli capital. “
The U.S. embassy will also be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in due time, with the Trump administration bracing for protests against the decision, advising U.S. personnel to avoid Palestinian territories.
Trump said he still called for “a great deal” for both Palestinians and Israelis, but the calculation behind the announcement seems to be two-fold: That the announcement will be popular with Trump’s domestic base, while counting on Gulf Arab allies to be too focused on the perceived threat of Iran to raise a ruckus over the United State’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as belonging to Israelis.
“The status of Jerusalem has always been something to be decided in negotiation between the two parties. And this basically says, ‘No, we’ve already decided that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel,'” she said.
“What is not clear and what would be a major issue, is what does that do to the status of the [holy site] Haram al-Sharif? and if a unified Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, what does that even do to the status of the Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem? What does it to do their access to family, friends, and business? Can you tell me how this works out well?” wondered Bodine.
“Jerusalem is not just a Palestinian town – it’s very important for the entire Muslim world [F]or the Jews, it’s been a turning point for centuries, and the whole Zionist movement, let alone for the Christian world. For the Muslim world, Jerusalem is a unique city in the world. It’s not just somebody’s capital,” said Salem.