Trump Ignores Massive Opposition & Names Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel

Donald Trump has rejected incredibly overwhelming global opinion and named Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, ignoring claims that it will completely derail attempts to broker peace in the Middle East and could foment violence.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Continuing, Trump seemed to suggest this with augur a new phase in the peace process between Israel and Palestine, something which almost nobody with even the slightest investment in the situation agrees with:

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The United States will now begin the slow, years-long process to move their embassy to Jerusalem. Trump attempted to deflect some of the criticism by suggesting that he wasn’t dictating how much of Jerusalem should be the Israeli capital, therefore theoretically allowing for the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. As you might imagine, that doesn’t quite address the concerns.

U.S. Congress actually passed a bill back in 1995 demanding that the government begin moving the embassy to Jerusalem – threatening to slash the State Department’s budget if they didn’t – but every successive president til now has stalled on doing it. Everyone from Bush to Obama refused to act on it for one simple reason: it will cause a shitload of problems.

The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said that he opposed “any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians”.

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no plan B.”

On Wednesday, Pope Francis pled with the president to not go through with this move. “I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.”

He said he hoped “wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many cruel conflicts”.

The response from the Middle East outside of Israel has been universally extremely negative, including from clse U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, who claim it undermines their attempts at peace. There are reports of multiple protests in Turkey, including one outside the U.S. embassy, in protest.

A spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the US was “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight”.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said the issue of Jerusalem was extremely sensitive and complex, and feared the move “could sharpen regional conflict”.

Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar, issued a particularly stinging rebuke to Trump’s move:

It is not well thought out. It is in contradiction of the basic tenets of peace. It shows bias and is an accommodation for occupation, force and military violence.

President Trump talks about reality, [but] what is reality? The only reality is that law should be the basis for any recognition. He is trying to scuttle the chances of peace. In his mad rush to show he is different from other presidents he did not stop to think why other peace settlements failed.

He is siding with the most racist and hard line government in the history of Israel. and he cast his lot with them and so snubbed those that talked of reconciliation. It will embolden extremists around the world.

So all very positive. Another banner foreign policy move for Donald Trump.