Trump Is Making a Huge Mistake on Jerusalem

Op-Ed Contributor Trump Is Making a Huge Mistake on Jerusalem Picture Palestinians protested President Trump’s decision to identify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Credit rating Mohammed Saber/European Pressphoto Agency

President Trump announced on Wednesday that his administration is building a radical break with practically 70 years of official United States insurance plan and with the international community: He is recognizing Jerusalem while Israel’s capital.

This decision will be interpreted by Palestinians, Arabs and all of those other world as a significant provocation. It’ll cause irreparable injury to Mr. Trump’s personal plans to create peace in the centre East, and also to any potential administration’s efforts, as well. It will undermine the United Says’ own national security. The president should reconsider this decision instantly.

Since Israel was established in 1948, the United Nations and the United States, like the majority of countries, have refused to identify any country’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, a city holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians.

For this reason, the United States has always maintained its embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. Since Israel militarily occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the United States and the international community have rejected as illegal Israel’s attempts to cement its control over the location by expanding its boundaries, annexing it and constructing a band of settlements on occupied Palestinian terrain around its outskirts to sever it from all of those other West Bank.

With his announcement on Wednesday, Mr. Trump has legitimized Israel’s illegal actions and sent the concept that the United States no more has any respect for international conventions or norms, and that might and power prevail over justice and the law.

Conceivably this shouldn’t have already been a surprise. People of Israel’s hard-right federal government were overjoyed at Mr. Trump’s election, believing they might have a free rein to accelerate the growth of settlements. The president’s selection of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lead his administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace attempts and the appointment of David Friedman as ambassador to Israel, both of whom possess ties to Israel’s settlement movement, additional emboldened the settlers and their supporters in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s federal government. Indeed, Israel has extended its settlements over the past year.

By rewarding its promise on the subject of Jerusalem with official acknowledgement, Mr. Trump is giving Israel a free side to accelerate its policies of creeping annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories and its own deliberate attempts to erase the Palestinians’ traditional, political, cultural and demographic presence in historic Palestine.

This will motivate Israeli officials to further intensify their violations of Palestinian rights in the town; more Palestinian homes will end up being destroyed and more Palestinian families produced homeless. (Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, Israeli authorities have, based on the United Nations, destroyed some 20,000 Palestinian homes in the town.) It will mean more Palestinian terrain stolen for settlements and more Palestinian Jerusalemites could have their ideal to reside in the metropolis where they were born and raised and where their own families still live revoked by Israel, since it has performed to a lot more than 14,000 Palestinians since 1967, according to human rights groupings. And it’ll fuel further telephone calls from right-wing Israelis, including participants of Mr. Netanyahu’s federal government, to annex parts or all of the West Bank: After all, if the United States has granted its stamp of authorization to the annexation of Jerusalem, why shouldn’t right-wing Israelis believe it’ll one day carry out the same with an increase of territory?

Moreover, the United Says’ recognition of Jerusalem within Israel could embolden messianic Jewish extremists – some of whom will be supported by Israeli government officials – who would like to create a Jewish temple in the Noble Sanctuary mosque complex in the Old City of East Jerusalem, just about the most sensitive religious sites in the world. This may easily ignite a significant religious conflagration in the centre East and beyond with an result that cannot be predicted.

Wednesday’s announcement may finally place to rest the dream of a two-state solution, which has been on existence support for years already – after a lot more than 25 years as the United States government’s official target. For if all of Jerusalem is portion of Israel, in that case East Jerusalem cannot be the administrative centre of a Palestinian state, rendering the thought of two says living hand and hand in peace obsolete.

If that is not more than enough to persuade Mr. Trump to change his mind, he should listen to the information of his personal secretary of defense, James Mattis. In 2013, when he was the head of the United States Central Order, which oversees American military operations in the centre East, Mr. Mattis said that he “paid a military security price each day” because the United States was “seen as biased to get Israel.” American acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital exacerbates this problem exponentially.

It really is our hope while Palestinians that saner voices will prevail and that the United States will avoid any actions that will further destabilize the center East. If Mr. Trump truly wishes to possess a chance at making peace, he must reverse his decision on Jerusalem instantly.

Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian lawmaker and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee. Follow The New York Times Judgment section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and join the Judgment Today newsletter.

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