Trump snubs UN, acknowledges Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Trump snubs UN, acknowledges Jerusalem as capital of Israel
December 06 15:32 2017 Print This Article

President Donald Trump made a major policy speech Wednesday, acknowledging that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and pledging that America will relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move snubs a United Nations Security Council resolution approved December 27, 2016  (supported by outgoing President Barack Obama with the U.S. abstaining) that declared Jerusalem an “occupied territory” belonging to the Palestinian people. It is part of the land seized by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.  See the current map of Israel and Palestine:

Trump noted that Israel is a sovereign nation and that it may locate its capital where it chooses. The Middle East nation has already moved its Knesset (parliament), Supreme Court, and most of its government agency headquarters to the Holy City. It is also the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Congress passed a proclamation in 1995 declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, but Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama never officially acted to move the American embassy. Trump has tasked the U.S. State Department with initiating the planning for the new embassy, beginning with engineering studies and architectural design. He wants the new structure to be a “tribute to peace.”

Trump’s speech was very inclusive and optimistic. He spoke of Israel as “one of the most successful democracies on earth” and a place where people all faiths have the freedom to worship. Of the ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinian territories and Israel, he said, “Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it.”

America’s decision was criticized by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, European leaders, Pope Francis and the leaders of many Islamic nations, calling it “provocative.”  Abbas warned of possible “grave consequences” and violence.