Despite red flags, President Donald Trump declares that the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
On 6 December 2017, Unites States president Donald Trump made a defiant move by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This marks a stark shift in the previous stance of US on the above matter; a neutral stance that lasted for decades. However, Trump further addressed that his administration will continue to foster peace and an end to the historical Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The move has spiked controversies over the globe. Even the UN Security Council has been set in locomotion owing to a request by 8 out of 15 member countries. A meeting is likely to take place on Friday to further address Trump’s controversial advance.
A brief account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Till date, the main conflict is over the control of Gaza, a self-governing land that lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranian Sea.
However, the historical conflict dates back to the 19th century. The early sparks to the fire were stirred during the first World War. In the November of 1917, the British captured Palestine from the Ottomans and declared it to be a new home for the Jews. The declaration caused unrest among the Palestinians. But, it wasn’t until 1919 that a clear opposition came into the light.
Situations worsened after the second world war and the Holocaust. 6 Million Jews were killed off during that horrific time. The surviving Jewish people made a demand for their own country. They were subsequently given a large chunk of Palestine. However, the Arabs being the previous occupants of the land didn’t welcome the change. Further conflicts stemmed from thereon, but the main dispute that is still ongoing has been over the control of Gaza.
Many countries including America have been actively involved in harbouring a peace-keeping solution that ends the century-old fight between the Arabs and the Israelis.
How does Trump’s move affect the conflicting parties?
Even though Israel recognizes Jerusalem as its capital, before Trump’s move, no country had an embassy in Jerusalem. Situations were different before 2006, but with Costa Rica and El Salvador finally moving their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, the number (of embassies in Jerusalem) went to an absolute zero. With 86 countries having their embassies in Tel Aviv, Trump’s move marks a shift in paradigms.
However, the real reason that this declaration is so controversial is that it disrupts the international consensus that existed for a better part of 70 years. Even though the Congress passed a motion for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem in 1995, it didn’t happen. Every president before Trump has made use of the presidential waiver to stop that from happening.
The Isreali government seems to be happy with Trump’s move, but the Palestinians beg to differ. With the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat openly advocating Trump, the Palestinian leaders are in stark rebellion of the ongoing happenings. The Palestinian leaders have termed Trump’s move to be a clear violation of international law. An uprising is on the cards given the Palestine Liberal Organization’s declaration that if the embassy transfer takes place, they will disregard all previous agreements that have taken place between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Street protests and streams of violence in different territories are also a probability given the contrasting opinions of the two conflicted groups over trump’s move.