Why Is The Us Moving Its Embassy To Jerusalem
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JERUSALEM – The United States opens its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.
On Monday, road signs directing traffic there went up around the neighborhood where it will be situated, and next weeks opening ceremony is timed to coincide with Israels 70th anniversary.
The initiative was driven by President Donald Trump, after he broke last year with decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump said his administration has a peace proposal in the works, and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Americas closest ally had taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table.
Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrated Trumps decision, but the move upset the Arab world and Western allies.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a slap in the face and said Washington could no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.
Initially, a small interim embassy will operate from the building in southern Jerusalem that now houses U.S. consular operations, while a secure site is found to move the rest of the embassy operations from Tel Aviv.
WHY DID TRUMP RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAELS CAPITAL, AND ANNOUNCE THE EMBASSY WILL BE MOVED THERE?
WHY DOES JERUSALEM PLAY SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT?
Religion, politics and history.
But the citys significance goes further.
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Donald J. Trump moved the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. That is a really big deal both as policy and as politics.
A week ago, I led a delegation that met for the first time with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in his new residence within the embassy grounds in Jerusalem. What an honor for me and for the members of our delegation. Ambassador Friedman played the lead role in moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital.
For years, politicians in both parties have endorsed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In fact, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed in 1995, requires the U.S. Embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Despite political promises and acts of Congress, the bureaucrats in the State Department and the pundits from around the world had blocked the move to Jerusalem. They said American blood would be shed if we moved the embassy to the capital city. They were wrong.
In a way, what ended up being so difficult was really quite simple. Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. The prime minister works and lives there. The Knesset the parliament of Israel is located there. And the Supreme Court of Israel is there, too. Putting an embassy in the city where the seat of government seems to be, well, logical.
So why would something so simple be so difficult?
State Department bureaucrats and global pundits continue to worry about affirming Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
Donald Trump To Recognise Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Move Us Embassy
Officials confirm that US president will break with decades of diplomacy in a move many warn will trigger unrest in the region
Donald Trump will declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, the White House has said, breaking with years of precedent and potentially leading to unpredictable consequences for the Middle East.
The region is braced for the prospect of unrest in anticipation of the declaration, due at 1pm in Washington, and US embassies around the world have been advised by the state department to bolster their security.
US government employees have been told to avoid Jerusalems Old City and the West Bank until further notice.
In his remarks to be delivered in a diplomatic reception room in the White House, Trump will base his decision on ancient history and current political realities that the Israeli legislature and many government offices are in Jerusalem. He will also order the state department to start the process of planning and building a new US embassy in Jerusalem, but White House officials said that process would take at least three years.
Officials made clear that Trump would not follow the practice of his predecessors, who used the waiver to prevent any action on the embassy move to avoid derailing any progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Jerusalem Embassy Anniversary Marked With Trump Tweet Arab Silence
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday the transfer of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a year ago was the fulfillment of a key promise of his election campaign.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, Trump said in a celebratory tweet highlighting the move. Our beautiful embassy stands as a proud reminder of our strong relationship with Israel and of the importance of keeping a promise and standing for the truth.
Trumps move of the embassy from the Israeli commercial hub of Tel Aviv to the seat of its government in Jerusalem, which he recognized as Israels capital in December 2017, was a major U.S. foreign policy shift cheered by the Jewish state. But, the transfer was opposed by leaders of Arab and other Muslim-majority nations who warned it would provoke regional violence and threaten international security.
The U.S. embassy milestone drew no reported street protests or denunciations from leaders in the Middle East on Tuesday, one year after its opening on May 14, 2018. International media coverage of the anniversary was scant, with the Associated Press and the New York Times being the only major outlets to file a report specifically on the topic.
Israeli snipers opened fire from the other side of the fence, killing about 60 Palestinians, including several children, and wounding hundreds. A Hamas official later said 50 of those killed were Hamas activists.
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Speaking at a campaign rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Monday, the president also suggested that the evangelicals were more enthusiastic about his decision than Jewish people.
And we moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. Thats for the evangelicals, Mr Trump told supporters at Wittman Regional Airport on Monday, as Democrats prepared for the first night of the partys virtual convention.
You know its amazing … the evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people. Thats really right, its incredible, the president added, to raucous applause from the crowd.
The president also visited Mankato, Minnesota on Monday as he attempted to counter attacks coming from the Democratic National Convention .
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Us To Keep Embassy In Jerusalem: Bidens Top Diplomat
Antony Blinken says Bidens administration will not reverse Donald Trumps controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem.
The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, his nominee for secretary of state affirmed at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem? asked Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Yes and Yes, said Antony Blinken in testimony on Tuesday.
Outgoing President Donald Trump announced the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital in December 2017. The US moved its embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May of the following year.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with the Palestinian Authority insisting that East Jerusalem illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 should serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
The only way to ensure Israels future as a Jewish, democratic state and to give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled is through the so-called two-state solution, Blinken said.
I think realistically, its hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that. What would be important is to make sure that neither party takes steps that make the already difficult process even more challenging, he added.
There has been no comment yet from the Palestinian leadership.
What’s Likely To Happen Next
Since the announcement there has been tension, with Palestinian protests in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops in Gaza during a six-week border protest.
That protest culminates on May 15, a day Palestinians traditionally lament homes and land lost as Israel was created in 1948, given extra significance this year because it falls on the day after the U.S. Embassy move.
Although clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces have not been on the scale of the first and second Palestinian intifadas in 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, violence has erupted before over matters of sovereignty and religion.
In 1969 an Australian Messianic Christian tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque, causing damage. So charged was the Middle East’s political climate – just two years after the Six Day War – there was fury across the Arab world.
In 2000, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon, then opposition leader, led a group of Israeli lawmakers onto the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif complex. Palestinians protested and there were clashes that quickly escalated into the second Palestinian uprising, known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Deadly confrontations took place last July after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the complex after the killing of two Israeli policemen by Arab-Israeli gunmen.
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Does This Mean An Explosion
The Trump administration has also sided with Israel in its response to the deadly violence on the Gaza border.
The White House accused Gaza’s Hamas leaders of “intentionally and cynically” provoking Israel in an attempt at “gruesome propaganda” but, unlike European countries, it did not call on the army to exercise restraint.
Hamas has been directing the weeks-long protest campaign by Palestinians frustrated with Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza.
Analysts said it was a chance for the militant Islamist movement to shift the blame for its own poor performance in government.
The question now is whether the hundreds of casualties will trigger an uprising, or intifada, that spreads to the West Bank.
Gaza’s deadliest day of violence in years
The Jerusalem decision itself did not do so and there are many reasons why the Gaza violence may not. That includes divisions in the Palestinian leadership and the high cost for Palestinians of a return to sustained conflict.
But it is a volatile situation fuelled by a sense of Palestinian hopelessness that could lead to further escalation.
Trumps Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israels Capital: Background And Ramifications
On Wednesday, 6 December, President Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Not only did this move break with the U.S. foreign policy tradition, which has for many decades avoided declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the absence of an IsraeliPalestinian peace agreement. It also ended the Palestinian Authoritys hopes for the United States to play a role in pursuing the objective of having East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state in the future.
It is too early to assess the consequences of Trumps decision, , but it seems that precursors differ from what follows next, especially if the Palestinian people decide to build up their efforts to nullify the decision by activating popular resistance.
Trumps plans to change the status quo in Jerusalem will, most likely, be counterproductive. Any future role of the United States as a neutral mediator in a peace process is likely to be weakened, and the current administrations strategy in the Middle East will be hindered. These goals include reaching a settlement of the ArabIsraeli conflict, fighting armed Islamist groups, and countering Iranian influence.
The Dispute over Jerusalem
Context of the Jerusalem Decision
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Heres Why The Embassy Move Is So Controversial
When the president announced the decision to move the embassy back in December, it placed him squarely in the middle of the decades-long conflict over Jerusalem.
As Sarah Wildman and Jennifer Williams wrote for Vox in December, both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city contains sites sacred to both Jews and Muslims. Though Israels parliament and the prime ministers home are in Jerusalem, they sit in West Jerusalem, on the side of the city Israel has controlled since 1949. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed that half of the city.
The international community considers East Jerusalem occupied territory. But that half of the city also contains sites holy to all three major monotheistic religions, including the Western Wall, the holiest place in the world where Jews can openly pray, and Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for the Noble Sanctuary, a sacred site for Muslims that Israelis refer to as the Temple Mount.
The Palestinians want to officially divide the city and make East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Israelis disagree and the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long made clear that it wouldnt consider making concessions over Jerusalem, in part because Jews were barred from the Western Wall when the Old City was under Jordanian control in the years before the 1967 war.
Trump Says He Moved Us Embassy To Jerusalem For The Evangelicals
JERUSALEM, Israel President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital and move the US embassy there to please evangelical Christians.
We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, Trump said at a rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Thats for the evangelicals.
You know whats amazing with that? The evangelicals are more excited about that than the Jewish people. And the Golan Heights, do not forget the Golan Heights, he continued as the crowd cheered.
And we moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. Thats for the Evangelicals. You know, its amazing with that: the Evangelicals are more excited by that than Jewish people.
The US formally recognized Jerusalem as Israels capital in 2017 and opened the US embassy there in May 2018. The move was met with controversy, especially among Palestinian leaders who want to see eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Palestinians cut off diplomatic ties with the US following the decision.
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Trump said at the time he made the move out of respect for Israels sovereignty and because it was in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel is still a key issue for evangelicals as the US heads for the November elections. Both Trump and Biden are vying for the coveted evangelical vote.
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Talking Trump’s Ear Off
It was beautiful, but every time I thought the meal would end, another course would come out, Trump complained to his son-in-law, adding that Netanyahu was talking my ear off.
“Bibi should have known his audience better he would have won Trumps favor if he had simply served a hamburger and allowed him to go to the hotel to relax.”
Jared Kushner: Netanyahu Was Not Enthusiastic About Moving The Embassy To Jerusalem Trump Considered Canceling The Move
In a new book, someone who served as a senior adviser to the former US president writes that when Trump informed Netanyahu of his intention to move the embassy, Netanyahu reacted coldly. Trump asked Netanyahu why he should take such a risk if he had the impression that it was not that important for a prime minister Israel
United States Recognition Of Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel
On December 6, 2017, then-U.S. PresidentDonald Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ordered the planning of the relocation of Israel’s U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision and praised the announcement. On December 8, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clarified that Trump’s statement “did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem” and “was very clear that the final status, including the borders, would be left to the two parties to negotiate and decide”.
Trump’s decision was rejected by a majority of world leaders the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on December 7, where 14 out of 15 members condemned it, but the motion was vetoed by the U.S. Britain, France, Japan, Italy, and Sweden were among the countries who criticized Trump’s decision at the meeting. Other countries supported the move Guatemala said that they will follow up and also relocate their embassy, while the Czech Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, and Romania said that they were also considering embassy relocation. The European Union‘s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that all governments of EU member states were united on the issue of Jerusalem, and also reaffirmed their commitment to a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Christian Churches Based In Jerusalem
On December 6, 2017, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Patriarch Theophilos III, widely regarded as the most senior Christian figure in Jerusalem, and twelve other church leaders in the Holy Land sent a letter to Trump warning that his move âw yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive divisionâ. Apart from Theophilos III, the letter was signed by heads of Jerusalem’s Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopioan and Coptic Orthodox patriarchates as well as the Roman Catholic Church’s Apostolic Administrator for Jerusalem . It was also signed by the Franciscan Order, the Greek-Melkite-Catholic patriarchate, the , the Episcopal Church, the Armenian Catholic and Syrian Catholic churches and the Evangelical Lutherans.
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