Palestine

The Reality of Jerusalem

12/6/17
from The Wall Street Journal,
12/6/17:

Trump honors a campaign pledge on the Israeli capital.

President Trump honored a campaign pledge on Wednesday when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision is hardly the radical policy departure that critics claim, and Mr. Trump accompanied it with an embrace of the two-state solution for Palestine that Presidents of both parties have long supported. Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 in a bill President Clinton declined to veto. Other Presidents have agreed in principle, and even campaigned on it, but in office they used a waiver to put off any formal recognition or move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The difference is that Mr. Trump apparently meant what he said as a candidate. Mr. Trump called his decision on Wednesday “a recognition of reality,” and he’s right. Israel’s parliament, Supreme Court and the president and prime minister’s residences are housed in Jerusalem, and U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State meet their Israeli counterparts there. Yet official U.S. policy is that both Israel and the Palestinians must agree on the future status of Jerusalem, since the Palestinians claim the city as their capital too. President Trump isn’t taking sides on that issue. The White House proclamation acknowledges that “Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue” and doesn’t distinguish between West Jerusalem, which houses Israel’s government, and East Jerusalem, which Israel has administered since the 1967 Six Day War. Mr. Trump combined his Embassy move with renewed intent to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and he doesn’t rule out a Palestinian state as part of the solution.

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