U.S. embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Claire Moriarty, Opinions Editor
Originally published January 11, 2018

The city of Jerusalem is divided between Israel (gray) and Palestine (white).

The city of Jerusalem is divided between Israel (gray) and Palestine (white).

President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6 and revealed the State Department’s plan to move the American Embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city which the territories of both Palestine and Israel view as their capital and holy place.

The city of Jerusalem is divided between Israel (gray) and Palestine (white).

The president’s move overrides the boundaries proposed by the still unsuccessful two-state solution. Because Jerusalem is venerated as a holy city by Jewish and Muslim faiths, the eastern section of the city is generally regarded as the Palestinian side, while the west is occupied by the Israeli.

Jack Thompson is an AP and Honor World History teacher. “Israel does have a presence in Jerusalem, and so do the Palestinians, and any reasonable peace agreement would probably have to acknowledge both having a right to presence in Jerusalem,” Thompson said. “Rather than using that as something to advance negotiation towards peace, [Trump] seems to have shown no consideration for those dynamics at all.”

Trump stated in a press release that after almost 20 years of failed mitigation in the Middle East, “it would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”

The declaration has sparked protests among Palestinians who contend that the United States has no business brokering peace in the Middle East because they are biased towards Israel—a viable assumption, given the ten-year military assistance deal the U.S. made with Israel in September of 2016. The deal provides Israel with 38 billion dollars in military support.

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, has promised Palestinians that Trump’s decision will not stand. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has slammed Trump for this decision, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises him.

“If there was any political forethought in this, it was to ingratiate himself with Netanyahu,” Thompson said.