The new President Donald Trump has pledged to fulfil his promise of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv – the internationally recognised capital of Israel, to Jerusalem. Speaking to an Israeli news network, he said:
“You know I’m not a person who breaks promises.”
In response Palestinians protested in Ramallah, Nablus and other cities in the West Bank to encourage the US administration to back down from their decision. Protestors decry the move, as it extinguishes any hope they have left of a Palestinian state. According to the negotiations during and after the Oslo Accords, East Jerusalem will be the capital of the future State of Palestine. However, Israel has been illegitimately attempting to claim Jerusalem as its capital since the creation of the occupier state. Much to Israel’s dismay though, it has never been recognised by the international community, hence not a single foreign embassy resides there.
Therefore, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and seeking to legitimise Jerusalem as an Israeli capital, is a provocative infringement of legally-binding terms decided upon by the international community. Crushing Palestinian dreams of a capital city sends the disconcerting message that they will never have their much longed-for state. It would be a highly unsound move, and breaches any remaining notions of peace or a two-state solution. Additionally, it indiscriminately ignores the ongoing oppression of Palestinians and their lives under Israeli occupation.
23rd January 2017
Image shows the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.