US President Donald Trump today ignored warnings that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could be a “kiss of death” for peace, instead asserting that delaying the recognition has not helped achieve peace the past two decades.
President Trump immediately instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He said he recognized that the status of Jerusalem “is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.”
According to the White House, President Trump was prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians if agreed by the two parties.
In his proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel, President Trump said: “My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Through that act, President Trump fulfilled one of his major campaign promises.
The White House stressed that, “the Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue.”
“President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995. This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago,” reads the proclamation. “President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Departments Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region…President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister. President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties. President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.”
He concluded by stating that he remained committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians and that he was optimistic that peace could be achieved.
East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967 but is not internationally recognized as part of Israel.