President Trump’s proclamation to “officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” breaks precedent. In doing so, he incurs bipartisan support in the US congress, but a flurry of criticism from analysts, diplomats and foreign leaders. His carefully crafted speech rebukes all claims that he disqualified the US as a “reliable mediator” in future Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. He notes that “any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders… are up to the parties involved…” Also important is what he omits from his remarks: when the embassy would be moved; if and when the US ambassador in Tel Aviv would move and operate from the US consulate in west Jerusalem temporarily. His motivations to act now include supporting Israeli sovereign assertions over its own capital, fulfilling a campaign promise, and evoking support from Christian voters six-days before a special Alabama senatorial election. Israelis are overwhelmingly pleased by the decision, while Arabs and Palestinians are greatly angered by his support of an Israeli view of Jerusalem. (source)
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