In break with decades of U.S. policy, Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

A Palestinian demonstrator burns a U.S. flag during a protest against the U.S. intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City
A Palestinian demonstrator burns a U.S. flag during a protest against the U.S. intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

December 6, 2017

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will announce on Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there, breaking with longtime U.S. policy and potentially stirring unrest.

Despite warnings from Western and Arab allies, Trump in a 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) White House speech will direct the State Department to begin looking for a site for an embassy in Jerusalem as part of what is expected to be a years-long process of relocating diplomatic operations from Tel Aviv.

Trump is to sign a national security waiver delaying a move of the embassy, since the United States does not have an embassy structure in Jerusalem to move into. A senior administration official said it could take three to four years to build an embassy.

Still, Trump’s decision, a core promise of his campaign last year, will upend decades of American policy that has seen the status of Jerusalem as part of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as their capital.

Washington’s Middle East allies all warned against the dangerous repercussions of his decision when Trump spoke to them on Tuesday.

“The president believes this is a recognition of reality,” said one official, who briefed reporters on Tuesday about the announcement. “We’re going forward on the basis of a truth that is undeniable. It’s just a fact.”

Senior Trump administration officials said Trump’s decision was not intended to tip the scale in Israel’s favor and that agreeing on the final status of Jerusalem would remain a central part of any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

In defending the decision, the officials said Trump was basically reflecting a fundamental truth: That Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli government and should be recognized as such.

The Palestinians have said the move would mean the “kiss of death” to the two-state solution.

The political benefits for Trump are unclear. The decision will thrill Republican conservatives and evangelical Christians who make up a large share of his political base.

But it will complicate Trump’s desire for a more stable Middle East and Israel-Palestinian peace and arouse tensions. Past presidents have put off such a move.

The mere hint of his decision to move the embassy in the future set off alarm bells around the Middle East, raising the prospect of violence.

    “Our Palestinian people everywhere will not allow this conspiracy to pass, and their options are open in defending their land and their sacred places,” said Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Islamist militant groups such as al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah have in the past tried to exploit Muslim sensitivities over Jerusalem to stoke anti-Israel and anti-U.S. sentiment.

‘SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS’

The decision comes as Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, leads a relatively quiet effort to restart long-stalled peace efforts in the region, with little in the way of tangible progress thus far.

“The president will reiterate how committed he is to peace. While we understand how some parties might react, we are still working on our plan which is not yet ready. We have time to get it right and see how people feel after this news is processed over the next period of time,” one senior official said.

Trump spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Saudi King Salman to inform them of his decision.

The Jordanian king “affirmed that the decision will have serious implications that will undermine efforts to resume the peace process and will provoke Muslims and Christians alike,” said a statement from his office.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it. The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

“We have always regarded Jerusalem as a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties based on relevant Security Council resolutions,” United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump has weighted U.S. policy toward Israel since taking office in January, considering the Jewish state a strong ally in a volatile part of the world.

Still, deliberations over the status of Jerusalem were tense. Vice President Mike Pence and David Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel, pushed hard for both recognition and embassy relocation, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis opposed the move from Tel Aviv, according to other U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An impatient Trump finally weighed in, telling aides last week he wanted to keep his campaign promise.

Abbas warned Trump of the “dangerous consequences” that moving the embassy would have for peace efforts and regional stability, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said.

But Trump assured Abbas that he remained committed to facilitating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, one U.S. official said.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Matt Spetalnick and John Walcott in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and and Peter Cooney)

  • Living in the Times

    Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Speaking of Israel)

    Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!

  • Impaler

    Use force and drive all Muslims fleeing for their lives back into Pakistan hell where they belong.

  • Donald J. Olson

    Outstanding! We all know … and now it is officially recognized. Jerusalem is the ‘eternal’ capital of Israel.

  • eladtoor

    Talk about FAKE NEWS!
    This ‘Jerusalem’ thingey is absurd.
    Washington D.C. is actually Israels capital.

  • larryjcr

    At least two of the last three, previous Presidents promised to do this … and didn’t. Trump is keeping his word.

  • AshJonson

    Muslim scum take note: Your shtt just got smacked. Day of Rage? Fk U! What’s different inbred scum?

  • marcthepig

    The Muslims are calling this a “red line”. Can anyone tell me one thing that is not a “red line” to the perpetually offended Muslims?

  • Realist

    Good!

  • DocHolliday

    There is no such thing as a middle east peace process, period.
    Even driving the Israelis into the sea will not bring peace, as then they’ll turn on each other, i.e., Sunni on Shia, vice versa & etc. Muslims, as a whole, know no peace; they have the “angry gene”.

  • Scott Henke

    It’s not mentioned in this article, but this has apparently been on the books since 1995. Was anyone else aware of that?

  • RMB38

    It is NOT President Trump’s nor ANY American’s decision as to what city should be Israel’s capital
    This is completely out-of-line, and will cause a lot of trouble.
    How would we like it if Israel decided America should move OUR capital city?
    Will we EVER learn to stay OUT of other countries’ internal problems and civil wars?

    • AshJonson

      We are simply “recognizing” that Jerusalem is the capital, not making it the capital. Big difference. And to keep the same course after my entire life (50 years) with ZERO change, it’s time for a different approach.

  • Deplorable Phytomorphogenesis

    Stop quoting reuters. They are a huge pile of biased Sugar-Honey-Ice-Tea.

    It’s not Trump. It’s PRESIDENT TRUMP.

  • Derek Dominico

    The future of mankind should not be entertaining terrorist!
    Palestinians should be driven out of any part of Israel.
    Arabs have plenty of land that they should give them a place to settle, if that’s really want they want. But its not.

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  • eladtoor

    Again, as always, the future of mankind is in jeopardy, hangs in the balance, because of the inane religious, who will endanger all, and certainly kill millions, because their warped ‘minds’ ‘believe’ in different figments.
    The only rational explanation for this is that the earth is the equivalent of a video game, being played by malevolent children on another planet, who are experimenting with different concepts of irrationality on various planets, and earths version, ‘religion’, is to see what could occur if humans were born with dementia, or had it inflicted upon them during childhood, rather than having it occur at the end of their lives.

  • YaPiDo

    The US let slide NK and Iran nuke and missile programs all those same years. Got US nowhere. Changes nothing, Muslims are already on max assault.

  • Sam Jacinto

    Trump is the adolescent truant who starts fires for sport. Send him back to Trump Tower where he cannot imperil the world. Better yet, send him to Florence, Colorado.

  • Alton_Gayle

    Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their FUTURE capital!!! REALLY!!!!!! Jerusalem IS NOW the capital of Israel!!!! Why should anyone care what so-called Palestinians say. There is no such thing as a palestinian!!! Palestine was a protectorate of the Roman Empire-PERIOD!!!!

  • PatrickJ

    This is a good thing. It is a thing that has been a long time in coming. God works in mysterious ways.

    • Sam Jacinto

      If this is your God’s doing, then he is evil

  • PatrickJ

    God Bless this President. God Bless this nation for electing him.

  • PatrickJ

    The difference between the actual OANN television site and this rather weak imitation of that is extraordinary.
    Here, they permit almost any extreme view or comment. I don’t really know their objective in all of this.
    Worries me.

  • PatrickJ

    When OANN finally stops posting articles from Reuters and other Liberal news agencies, they will become important .Until that happens, they will remain puppets of the mainstream media.

    • famouswolf

      When I come here, with each article I check the source. OAN, I read and look at comments. Reuters, I skip the article and look at the comments.
      Works for me.

  • Joel Mason

    It is not “our policy” to not move the embassy. The law passed years ago and Trump is simply enforcing it.

    • Legion

      This article was written by the Left-Wing “news” agency known as (Reuters), not OAN

    • PatrickJ

      I would agree, Joel.

  • tophat1984

    I dont think I can love President Trump anymore than I do right now 🙂

  • michael a

    If embassy does get moved to Jerusalem any one of Americans gets killed by Palestinians that country will be destroyed..

    • Legion

      “Palestine” is not a country, no such country has ever existed.

      • michael a

        I agree with you right there. Palestine never had a country except in Jordan. Palestine is trying to steal land from Israel that land belongs to Israel for the last 3000 years. Says so in Holy Bible. Not in garbage Koran.

        • Legion

          Especially since the Bible predates the Quran by centuries.

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  • Don48

    No country wants Palestinian Arabs inside their borders. Wasn’t that long ago Israel was the largest single employer of Palestinian Arabs, Israel was their single larges employer and source of income, Israel allowed tens of thousands of Arabs into their country daily to work. These same Arabs began murdering innocent Israeli’s, blowing them up, shooting, knifing Israeli citizens. Israel had to kick them out even build a wall to protect its citizens. I have no, zero sympathy for the bed Palestinians have made for them selves. Hell, they elected a terrorist organization as their leaders. You can’t fix this group of dirty Arabs, period.

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  • Javanne

    For 50 years, the US and the West have tried to push Israel and the pals into making peace, using the same failed policies of pushing one-sided concessions by Israel. That has consistently failed. Trying something new, like putting pressure on the REAL culprits in terms of foiling peace, might work.

  • Da.city

    Dear stupid liberals. Palestinians do not exist….the people in camps in Jordan etc…went there in 1948 when the Arab countries denied the state of Israel’s existence. The persecutors are the Arab countries and the PLO which has stollen untold millions of dollars from the people. The land was given by Britain’s who won it against the Ottoman Turks who ownerned all the land for hundreds if years. There has never been a Palestinian State, society or language. The Jewish writings go back thousand of years claiming the city David as being the land God gave them. In 1967, again the Arabs intended to destroy the Jews, and Jerusalem became apart of Israel as prophesied. The Koran never names Jeresulem ever! Don’t believe me or your assinine professors and social media, look it up yourself.! Idiots!

    • Scotty

      You’re right. There’s no such thing as a Palestinian. They were the Gypsy rejects from other Arab countries, and were sent there to keep the Jews from settling. The only path to peace is to deport these Arabs to Arab lands. None of those countries want that because they want Israel destroyed like it says in their “holy” book. Until the “Palestinians” are removed from Israel there will never be peace.

    • Bran Jacobs

      Well said!

  • KMA

    I agree with the decision, but I hope we’re prepared for the consequences.

  • 🐯 TigerBear 🐻

    22 years ago Congress voted on this…..

  • Bill Smith 999935

    Ruh roh. Guess we’ll have ourselves some mad a-rabs.

  • Theo Stall

    Its NOT a “break with US policy”!!! tThe PRESIDENT SETS POLICY!! Was it a “break with US POLICY”
    when Obama gave Iran Billins in cah on a wooden palate and permission to build a Bomb?
    Beetcha he’d say it was NEW policy.
    Its a NEW policy.
    Stop writing like MSNBC and CNN!!

    • Legion

      Article was not written by OAN .. it was written by the Left-Wing “news” agency known as (((Reuters)))

  • rustyaxlenut

    Get ready for the tag team match between Gog and Magog vs. Israel and God. Don’t miss it (as if you could), and don’t place any bets, there may be no one left on the losing side to payoff.

  • AshJonson

    It’s up to us where we put our embassy. Well us, and Israel, since the’re the host country. We don’t need anyone else’s permission.

  • Living in the Times

    God says to stand with Israel and Jerusalem is the chosen city of God. I stand with Him!!! If you research the end times prophesy, Jerusalem becoming the capital is key in His Biblical prophesy

    • Bran Jacobs

      Amen!

    • Sam Jacinto

      fairy tales should not dictate our policy

      • DocHolliday

        True. However, God’s sovereignty rules over our policy. And believe it or not, over you as well 🙂

      • Living in the Times

        Fairy tales? The Bible is based in fact. Jesus is real and more and more evidence of His existence is being found. Just because you do not believe or are uneducated in Biblical history, do not be disrespectful!

  • mark christmas

    Jared, time to go back to NY. Take Ivanka and the kids. You have not served President Trump with the success he expected you to have. Cut your losses (and America’s) and just go.

  • Phil M. Kelley

    *Applause*
    Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people. Long before Christianity existed and more than a millennium before Islam, Jerusalem belonged to the Jews. All three major religions have holy places in Jerusalem and Israel has never denied Christians or Muslims access to their holy places .

  • Scotty

    Never appease Muslims. They don’t deserve it. Their holy book tells them to kill Jews, and that’s what they do. Jordan’s king, a big star trek fan once asked bush 1 why are there no Arabs in Star trek? Bush said because it takes place in the future.

    • akafett

      Gene Roddenberry was Jewish, btw. I bet that has much to do with it.

      • Scotty

        Didn’t know that, but it makes sense.

  • C B

    The Lord will smile upon you Potus ………. I believe he’s been doing that for a year or so

  • Legion

    The day we capitulate to the threats of violence from moslems is the day they have conquered us all.

  • Vol Williams

    People just don’t know history. There never was a Palistinian State, EVER! But there was an Israel, back to ancient times. When the British restored Israel after WWII, (and they had the right, right of victors!) the surrounding Arab states had a hissy, as each had disputed claim to the area for centuries. When the Arab states banned together and launched the attack to wipe out the Israelies, it took jus three days for Israel to utterly defeat the Arab Alliance and annex the conquered territories. They had the right, as victors! The UN pressured Israel to give much of the conquered land back, which was wrong and a huge mistake? They won it against an aggressor and should have kept it! The so called Palestinians were refused patriation by Syria and Jordan, and rather than assimilate with Israel as was offered, they chose to fight under the leadership of Yasser Arafat. Read the history of the region before offering opinions.

    • deadandwicked

      Thanks Vol. Most people don’t know this Truth because the Lame-Stream media won’t tell them. God gave Israel that land for them to own Forever !!

      • Legion

        What do you expect from Leftists most of whom do not even believe in God or The Bible. These people have ZERO respect for religion or it’s followers!

        Unless you’re moslem .. then they have some sort of “Stockholm Syndrome” going on.

        • Sam Jacinto

          all religions are fairy tales

          • Legion

            That is your opinion .. I don’t know you so your opinion means nothing to me.

  • kaiju

    The Muslims are going to have a cow over this, but it needs to be done and should have been done a long time ago. Muslims cannot be appeased, instead they have to be denied and defeated.

    • Vol Williams

      You mean the muslims are going to have a Pig over this!

      • Scotty

        😁 clever!

      • Tango Uniform

        A pig with a rag on its head

      • marcthepig

        Oink????

    • Savatage64 (Always Deplorable)

      You know how sometimes someone just needs to be put in their place… To big for their britches – type scenario??
      Well this is how this feels and it’s the Muslims that need that lesson.
      GO TRUMP… THIS IS THE RIGHT DECISION.

    • tophat1984

      Saudi Arabia is our only ally in the Muslim, and they seem to be the only ones interested in any kind of legitimate reform. I hope that we can maintain our good relations with them, but yes, the embassy must be in Jerusalem.

  • jd crowley

    Muslims? Telling Anybody what to do?

  • Mike

    The reality is, that “big deal of the century” just isn’t going to happen. The bigger deal of the century will be declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. But like I’ve said before, once it happens, and I hope it will, the Palestinians under the sensitive personal family guidance of Hamas, will go absolutely berserk. Not to mention every other surrounding Arab nation, not knowing how to handle this declaration other than resort to violence, will do just that. Because…that’s what they do. The “peace process” is an utter failure. Has been, and will remain in that form.
    I wonder if old George and his like have influence in Gaza?
    So, if Trump declares Jerusalem the Israeli capital, we’ll be there to help defend…
    Then Kim Jong Bong will seize his moment….
    Then Russia will bust in to do its part to support Iran and Syria in the attempted defeat of Israel.
    This might get very interesting.

    • akafett

      “Then Russia will bust in to do its part to support Iran and Syria in the attempted defeat of Israel.”
      Remember the Six-day War? Go Israel!

    • famouswolf

      It’s beginning to sound a bit like the tangle of alliances just prior to WW1. This could be a button similar to the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand.

      • Legion

        Bring it on .. I do not seek war, but I refuse to fear it.

        Sometimes war is the only option and we must be courageous and not shrink in the face of such times.

    • larryjcr

      The Russians have made it quite clear that they will NOT support Iran and company against Israel. They understand that in any relationship, Israel is stronger and more reliable that the Arabs, OR the Iranians.

      • Mike

        Larry,
        Russia itself chooses (they say) not to engage Israel, but weaponry supplied from them to Iran and then forward into Syria is simply a backdoor to achieve their (Iran’s) strategic goals in part. So in effect, the supply of munitions/radar and such to Iran, to be used against Israel is in fact a support mechanism to Israels destruction, to which Russia is complicit. No secret.

        • larryjcr

          Russia sells weapons as a matter of course. But they know that their current alliance with Turkey and Iran is only short term. There is far too much bad blood (going back centuries) for that alliance to last, and all three know it. Russia is supporting Assad, NOT fighting Islamists. Russia has (even during the Cold War) remained on fairly good terms with Israel. What Iran and Assad do with the weapons is up to them, but there’s plenty of evidence that the Israeli’s have inside information on the capabilities and limitations of the systems.

  • Sonny Shaw

    Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the State of Israel it was annex in 1967 or 68 and Israel will not give it up because of Erdogan’s red line. Turkey is making it impossible for the US to be it’s ally in NATO and that could be at stake, with such black mail being aimed at President Trump.

    • jd crowley

      Turkey is not, or ever been an Allie.

      • Scotty

        That’s because they’re all turkeys.. sorry, it was there, I had to use it.

      • Sam Jacinto

        Erdogan is one of Trump’s authoritarian pals

    • Scotty

      ..

  • Larry

    I don’t understand what is all the fuss about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas says he wants an independent Palestine with (East) Jerusalem as its capital. If he really wants peace with Isael, then why does he not respect Israeli wishes for the same?

    • Leonard Ross

      Fighting is just Ingrained in Arabs blood, fighting for 1000s of years over Anything and Everything.if Nothing Was wrong theyd make a problem, kinda like modern day lazy, frealoading, snowflake libs.

      • Living in the Times

        No, there is a purpose for all the fighting. See my post above.

    • Living in the Times

      It is all over Abrahamic inheritance and birthrights. Jerusalem is a key city of Israel and God’s prophesy for end times. A lot of info out there on the subject but scrutinize your sources.

    • Javanne

      Because he really DOESN’T want peace with Israel, other than the peace of Jewish graves.

      • Crusader Ammunition

        Graves would be dug up and desecrated if the muslims had their way.

    • Alton_Gayle

      Because he’s a Muslim Hypocrite!! Remember before there was a Palestinian Authority there was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)!!!!!

      • larryjcr

        The PLO still exists. The PA is just a false front fiction. It allows the PLO to, at the same time, work with Israel, and demand its destruction.

    • Donald J. Olson

      Keep in mind, the Muslim faith is an invention, it is a fabrication that was meant to give Mohammad and his decedents, power, wealth, sex, and slaves. This counterfeit pseudo-religion copies aspects of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Baalumism. Satan has been trying to usurp the Lord since the dawn of time as we know it …

      • chatty cathy

        Good choice of words. The whole point of deception is to make someone think they know the truth. Satan will do whatever he can..including counterfeit, and invent to deceive and destroy. But we know the glory belongs to God.

  • 101st Screaming Eagle

    “would violate decades of US policy” ??? We haven’t had any real policy’s in decades, who’s writing this?

  • ginjit.dw

    Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Do not back down on this. It is so important…..Back your allies…

    • Arkansas Traveler

      The people who invade our borders, murder our children in their beds, stab and blow up our citizens in their homes and businesses are going to get mad if the US moves its embassy. What are they going to do hold their breath and stomp their little feet?

      The capital of Israel is Jerusalem, has been for over 3000 years.

      • Crusader Ammunition

        Exactly. The muslims murder each other and everyone else around them anyway. SO WHAT if we make a symbolic change? They are going to continue their behaviour, so where is the downside?

      • Living in the Times

        Well spoken and Amen!!!

    • Deployable

      …now send an ambassador to Taipei.