Here are all the warnings Trump is ignoring on Jerusalem move
President Trump’s anticipated decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital puts him in line with the Middle Eastern country, but also alienates other allies who have warned the commander-in-chief of potential chaos.
Trump will speak about the issue on Wednesday, with reports saying that he will announce the move from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, which Israeli authorities claim as their capital despite religious divisions within it and a lack of recognition from the international community.
The move has the potential for widespread backlash across the fragile Middle East, with a group of Palestinians gathering Tuesday night and burning pictures of the President.
Fears of violence and a breakdown in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have led other world leaders from Saudi Arabia to the Vatican to make their case to Trump to avoid exacerbating the situation for little gain.
Allies and partners in the Arab word:
White House officials have said that the acknowledgement of Jerusalem is based off of the “reality” on the ground, though foreign leaders say that his plan could complicate the current reality and ignite more problems for the region’s politics
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office said that Trump had made his intentions clear in a phone call, and his spokesman said that he warned of “dangerous consequences such a decision would have.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, both important U.S. partners, issued similar statements after speaking with the President, with the former saying that it would “fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians.”
Turkey, also a U.S. ally as part of NATO, has been particularly vocal about the possibility, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that it was a “red line for Muslims.”
His foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that it was a “grave mistake” and that “the whole world is against this.”
No other countries currently operate an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.
Trump also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though the Jerusalem Post reported that he told his government not to discuss the American plan.
Leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macron and the king of Saudi Arabia (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pictured) have warned of setting off anger in the Middle East.
The most prominent countries in Europe have openly spoken out against the decision, though it is unclear if the President will take advice from his NATO allies.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday that “recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not calm a conflict, rather it fuels it even more,” according to Deutsche Welle.
“It’s in everyone’s interest that this does not happen.”
U.S. presidents from both major parties have previously said that they would recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy there, but have often cited national security interests in signing waivers to avoid having to do so under a 1995 law.
It is unclear whether Trump will state plans to move the diplomatic outpost or continue the waiver tradition.
French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump to lobby against the choice, his office said in a statement, adding “that the question of Jerusalem’s status had to be dealt with in the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
A future Palestinian state would want to have its capital in the eastern part of the city, next to the West Bank.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed “concern” to reporters on Wednesday and echoed the idea that the sensitive issue of Jerusalem must be dealt with in a final peace settlement, with the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini saying that anything that undermines the process “must absolutely be avoided.”
Pope Francis also said that he was “profoundly concerned” about the developments and called for the preservation of the status quo.
U.S. officials have said that moving the capital would not derail the peace process, and would only recognize the “reality” on the ground.
President Donald Trump (pictured with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) is expected to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Israeli capital on Wednesday.
Opposition in the U.S.
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would take years, though among the warnings Trump will receive are worries that in addition to possible violence in the Middle East, his announcement could immediately sideline a key player in the peace process, the U.S.
Opposition within the U.S. has been less vociferous than it has abroad, with some Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushing for the move.
Others have questioned whether the announcement will lead to violence, with California Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein saying it “will spark violence and embolden extremists on both sides of this debate.”
Criticism has centered on the fact that it is unknown what the United States has to gain from the acknowledgement in exchange for a loss of standing in potential fixing the long-running crisis.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer told PRI that “It makes no sense diplomatically” and will effectively end the American role in negotiating a settlement.
He added that “maybe [Trump] doesn’t care about the peace process, as long as he has found a way to appease his political base.”
A spokesman for the United Nations, the forum for any solution, said that Secretary General Antonio Guterres had “consistently warned against any unilateral action that would have the potential to undermine the two-state solution.”
Wilson Center scholar and former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller, who supports the embassy being in Jerusalem, said that the timing and expected announcement “makes no sense” and that “no compelling interest justifies the move.”
“The odds that Trump will stumble in his Jerusalem gambit are pretty good. That’s because the point of the exercise does not seem designed to achieve any real foreign policy goals,” he said in a CNN op-ed.
With News Wire Services