“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
President Trump just officially declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, upending decades of US diplomacy and threatening to spark massive unrest across the Muslim world.
Speaking in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump also announced his plan to eventually relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and begin the difficult logistical work of building a new diplomatic facility in the disputed city.
“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like any other sovereign nation to determine its own capital,” Trump said. “Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”
Trump described Jerusalem as the capital that “the Jewish people established in ancient times,” a line that may anger those in the Arab world who minimize, or deny, that Jews have had a historic connection to the city for millennia.
Still, Trump’s speech was decidedly less inflammatory than it could have been. The president said the US “would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides” — at least nominally maintaining Washington’s commitment to a cornerstone of US foreign policy for decades — and called on both sides to maintain the existing status quo in the city.
And although Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, he explicitly didn’t call it the undivided capital of Israel, leaving the door open for Israelis and Palestinians to divide the city during any final status negotiations between the two sides. In advance of the speech, White House officials repeatedly stressed that Trump’s announcement doesn’t represent a change US policy on the future borders of Jerusalem.
Here’s why that linguistic choice is so important. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city contains sites sacred to both Read More Here