Trump delivers on election promise

Donald Trump has honoured an election promise and has announced the telegraphed move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Donald Trump has declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a provocative move one Palestinian official has blasted as the “kiss of death” for peace in the Middle East.

In a speech at the White House this morning, Mr Trump officially recognised the holy city as the capital of Israel and declared his intention to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” he said.

“This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.”

Mr Trump said moving the embassy was “long overdue”, given it had been US policy since 1995. Previous presidents had “failed to deliver”.

“I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Mr Trump said.

“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

“It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”

The President said Israel had the right to determine its own capital “like every other sovereign nation”.

“Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace,” he said.

Well done Mr Trump.

Mr Trump said Jerusalem was the “seat of the modern Israeli government” and was home to the parliament, supreme court and prime minister.

The President has directed the State Department to begin the process of building a new US embassy in Jerusalem that would be “a magnificent tribute to peace”. The process of moving the embassy out of Tel Aviv is expected to take years.

While the change is likely to be seen in the Muslim world as the US siding with the Israelis, Mr Trump said it was not intended to reflect on other ongoing disagreements with the Palestinians.

“We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders,” Mr Trump said.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to facilitating a “lasting peace agreement” and indicated support for a two-state solution, if both Israel and Palestine agreed.

Talk of the change received a swift rebuke from Palestinian factions, who called for “three days of rage” throughout the Muslim world, according to The Jerusalem Post.

There are fears the protests will turn violent, but Mr Trump called for calm.

“There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement but we are confident that ultimately as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and co-operation,” he said.

“This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable.

“Today, we call for calm, for moderation and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.

“Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.”

A great move. Predictably there are calls for violence from the Muslim world. If you doubt the resolve of the US on this check out the vote in the US Senate back in May this year:

The Senate overwhelmingly agreed on Monday night to nudge President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a campaign promise that he punted on last week.

The Senate voted 90-0 on a resolution marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. The measure includes language that “calls upon the president and all United States officials to abide by” a 1995 law that urged then-President Bill Clinton to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Since that time, both Republican and Democratic presidents have issued six-month waivers of the law that allow them to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv. Trump on Thursday became the latest chief executive to issue such a waiver, although his administration has vowed it will ultimately execute the politically thorny move. Moving the embassy would further complicate efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East and would enrage the United States’ Arab allies.

“While we know that Israel continues to face a number of threats, bipartisan passage of this resolution will serve as yet another indication of the United States’ commitment to standing by our Israeli friends,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), chief sponsor of the Jerusalem resolution, said in a statement.

Trump has now delivered.

Now New Zealand should move our embassy from Ankara, Turkey to Jerusalem.

 

-Politico, NZ Herald

 

 


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