By Jack Billotti 12/6/2017

President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and directed the State Department to relocate the United States embassy from Tel Aviv. This decision conflicts with almost 70 years of American foreign policy and puts any hope for a peace between Israel and the Palestinians at risk.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Many of President Trump’s supporters and the government of Israel have applauded the move, but U.S. Arab allies have warned that it may destabilize the region and unleash violence. “Moving the U.S. embassy is a dangerous step that provokes the feelings of Muslims around the world,” said King Salman of Saudi Arabia in a phone conversation with President Trump. Administration officials have called the move a “recognition of reality” because Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government. They also claim President Trump is still committed to finding a two-state solution, and this decision will not impact the peace process. One senior official said “It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It’s not an impediment to peace and it’s not a facilitator of peace.”
Jerusalem is one of the most hotly contested regions in the entire world. West Jerusalem is currently and has been the seat of Israel’s government since it was formed in 1948. However, Palestinians and many Muslims around the world consider East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jerusalem’s Old City also holds significance in both Judaism and Islam, making the Isreali/Palestinian conflict a hot-button issue for Jews and Muslims across the globe.