President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the U.S. will move its embassy there, risking an enormous backlash from over the Muslim world.
“That metropolis is Israel’s capital,” Trump said in the White House. “It’s time to officially identify Jerusalem as the administrative centre of Israel.”
Trump said the U.S. will build an American embassy in Jerusalem, where it presently maintains a consulate. The existing U.S. embassy is certainly in Tel Aviv, where most other countries’ embassies are maintained.
“This is nothing pretty much when compared to a recognition of certainty,” Trump said. “It is also the right move to make. It’s something that has to be done.”
Trump acknowledged that his decision was driven by a good political campaign pledge, stating that “even while previous presidents have built this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The president continued to say that his decision “is not intended at all” to hamper a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He said america would “support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.”
While welcomed by Israel, Trump’s decision has already angered leaders over the Arab environment, who warned the president that his decision would effectively doom any future peace negotiations and may further destabilize the entire Middle East.
“Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to grab it,” Trump said. “Consequently today, we call for relaxed, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance.” He added: “Our children should inherit our like, not our conflicts.”
Until the 1967 war, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The western part housed the chair of Israel’s government. During the war, Israel captured the eastern part, which property sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Palestinians consider the eastern sector the rightful capital of any near future Palestinian state.
Trump said he would immediately begin the procedure of designing and creating a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Upon completion, he said, it “is a wonderful tribute to peace.”