World leaders are warning United States President Donald Trump about the consequences of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Administration officials say Mr. Trump may deliver a speech later this week recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, though he is expected to begrudgingly sign a waiver to delay a move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abba’s office warned Mr. Trump that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could have destructive effects.
Abbas’s spokesperson said, “The American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American embassy to Jerusalem involves the same level of danger to the future of the peace process and pushes the region into instability.”
In a telephone call on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Mr. Trump he was “concerned” about such an action.
Macron’s office said: “Mr. Macron reaffirmed that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly those relating to the establishment of two states.”
On Tuesday, a senior Palestinian official warned that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would spell the end of Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace push.
“That totally destroys any chance that he will play a role as an honest broker,” Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told journalists.
“That takes away… the deal of the century,” he added, referring to Trump’s pledge to close the elusive peace deal.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey, which currently holds the chairmanship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, would immediately call a summit meeting of the pan-Islamic group if Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and “set the entire Islamic world in motion.”
Trump had promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem during his campaign, and has reportedly grown frustrated about his inability to do so due to security concerns.
In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandated the embassy relocation, unless the president signs a waiver every six monthsto temporarily postpone the move for “national security.” Multiple presidents have invoked the waiver from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Last week 151 member states of the United Nations voted in the General Assembly on a resolution disavowing Israeli ties to Jerusalem.
Israel believes all of Jerusalem is its undivided capital and has pushed for international recognition. A U.S. declaration or embassy move would be a major victory for Israeli claims to the city.
In a video released on social media Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made an impassioned appeal to Mr. Trump asking him to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the U.S. embassy to the city.
The last Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014.
About the Author:
Laura Lacey Johnson is a writer and speaker who connects the relevance of ancient Scriptures to modern issues. Subscribe to her updates at www.lauralaceyjohnson.com.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: December 5, 2017