Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

After holding our collective breath over the last couple of days, it emerged – without much fanfare from the American side – that Donald Trump has not quite refused to sign the waiver permitting the US to retain its embassy in Tel Aviv (the whole issue is terribly vague. Maybe the waters are being muddied on purpose) but he is going to make an announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Plus, he will be instructing the State Department to examine the practicalities of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump will announce in a speech on Wednesday that he is formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while asking the State Department to formulate a plan for moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, White House officials confirmed Tuesday evening.

The recognition of Jerusalem, widely expected to anger the Arab world and cast a shadow over US-led peace efforts, will also be accompanied by Trump committing to support a two-state solution should both Israel and the Palestinians back it, the officials said, in a likely bid by the administration to balance the announcement seen as heavily favoring Israel.

The US Consulate in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, adjoining a possible site for the US Embassy (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Trump’s administration is certainly a reality-based one, as opposed to the Obama administration which was based on wishful thinking at best, and on an anti-Israel bias at worst:

The White House repeatedly referred to the recognition and embassy move, which will likely take years, as “acknowledging a reality,” noting the city’s role as the seat of Israel’s government but disregarding Palestinian claims there.

“He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality and modern reality,” one official said.

“While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, it’s Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence, and as such, it is the capital of Israel,” one of the officials said.

The US now officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and the world has gone into meltdown.

Reality-based diplomacy

US officials warned Trump not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The reason is less ideological, more capitulation to threats of violence from the Arabs:

If Trump made such a move, it could spark demonstrations or violence by Palestinians or by Muslims around the world, in part because of the sensitivity of the Jerusalem site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

The site includes the al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, and the golden Dome of the Rock. It was also the site of an ancient Jewish temple, the holiest place in Judaism.

The Arab threats of mayhem and violence (as any good mafiosi would do) came thick and fast, with clashes expected in Judea and Samaria after Friday prayers – or incitement – in the mosques.

But best of all was Turkey’s threat to cut ties with Jerusalem (or was that a promise?):

ANKARA – President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey could go as far as breaking off diplomatic ties with Israel if the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move he said would be a “red line” for Muslims.

Erdogan is the latest in a string of regional leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Hussein to warn of negative implications of the move.

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett was quick to respond.

“Unfortunately, Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel. Israel must advance its goals, including the recognition of United Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel,” Bennett said in a statement. “There will always be those who criticize, but at the end of the day it is better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy.”

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel “does not take directives or threats from Turkey.”

Israel is a “sovereign state, and Jerusalem is its capital,” Katz said. “There is nothing more historically just or right than to recognize Jerusalem, which has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years, as the capital of the State of Israel. The days of the Sultan and the Ottoman Empire are over.”

Caroline Glick cheekily tweeted:

The Europeans, in their own weaselly way, also warned against American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said on Tuesday that “any action that would undermine” peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians “must absolutely be avoided”.

Palestinian President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas is leading the Arab charge against recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Trump is expected on Wednesday to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to order the start of work to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, White House officials confirmed Tuesday.  US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is legitimate, almost banal; the same goes for moving the embassy there. But the warnings coming from even moderate Arab states show how sensitive the Jerusalem issue is and how problematic it can be to deal with even for them.

While the embassy move is expected to take months if not years, merely the prospect of it, as well as the recognition of Jerusalem, have inspired a blizzard of warnings of possible violence in the West Bank and elsewhere.

In a series of phone calls Tuesday, Trump made clear to Arab leaders his plans to move the embassy and recognize the city as Israel’s capital. He spoke about it with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Saudi King Salman. The leaders of all of the Sunni Arab states considered to be “moderate,” even those that have covert security ties with Israel, warned of the grave consequences of the move and of an escalation in violence because of the disregard for Muslim sensitivities around the world.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the Arab League, and the top Islamic body al-Azhar also all emphasized that moving the embassy could have serious consequences.

Leading the chorus, rather than being led this time, is Abbas. He has spoken in recent days with every Arab and European leader he could and warned them that an action like this could lead to violence on the ground.

Should there be an actual increase in violence, it won’t stem from attacks by “lone wolves” or smaller Palestinian factions; rather, the descent into chaos will have been orchestrated from above, by the chairman himself, just like in the bad old days of Yasser Arafat.

Last July, amid the crisis over metal detectors at the Temple Mount, he made the unprecedented move of freezing security coordination with Israel, and now he is practically ordering his men to escalate violence. His Fatah faction published on Tuesday an official announcement calling for “days of rage” on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and for mass protests.

But in the end, does any of this matter in the end? Will anything change on the ground for Israel and Jerusalem? (Besides the expected Palestinian violence of course).

Kay Wilson wrote an excellent post on Facebook, succinctly summarising the issue. I wish I wrote this myself:

Just like the UN acknowledged the right of the Jewish people to have a nation state in 1947, it will also be amazing if President Trump decides to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

However, just like our own personal identity and self-worth can never be found in what other people think of us, or who they think we are, so it is with the people in power concerning Israel. Their decisions have no bearing on the fact that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish nation State. None whatsoever.

And should anyone doubt: in addition to the land, we have centuries of history, the only language ever to have been revived, 1000’s of archaeological artifacts of numerous Biblical remains, and ancient texts stretching back millennia.

Times of Israel reporter Haviv Rettig Gur also sums up the issue in an eloquent nutshell:

Here is a series of tweets demonstrating the absurdity of the situation until now, and the implications of American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Here is a witty but true observation about the Muslims’ attitude towards Jerusalem:

Let’s finish off on a positive note:

Thank you President Trump


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23 Responses to Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

  1. Pingback: Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – 24/6 Magazine

  2. cba says:

    You’re right about Turkey. But I thought the Neturei Karta “threat” was at least as good.

    • anneinpt says:

      Oh, that’s brilliant!! 😀

      I can’t wait for them to fulfill their threat! Or is that a promise? (The caption reads: “Trump: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel”. Neturei Karta threaten – “this is the end. We shall leave the country”.)

      Speedily in our days Amen!

  3. Jeff Polaski says:

    It’s good to see so many people recognizing bullying threats for what they are: threats by bullies who will throw tantrums. It’s a shame that their leaders are fully aware that their own people will die. They want their people to die.

    • anneinpt says:

      You’re spot on there Jeff. For the Palestinians, their civilians dying is a win-win situation for them. They can claim them as “martyrs” and blame Israel for it, accusing us of war crimes etc.

      Certainly Trump has woken up to this fact, and I’m pretty sure the rest of the world has too. Only the rest of the world are still too scared by these threats and give in to them. Or they pretend to be scared because it then gives them an excuse to pressure Israel some more under the guise of concern for our safety.

  4. Henry says:

    Does every country in the world have a right to determine its capital city? Not according to the EU. As usual, the anti-Semites come up with only one exception, insisting Jews and the Jewish state are treated to a different standard. No more.

    • anneinpt says:

      Exactly. Israel is the “Jew” amongst the nations, always held to a higher standard on one hand, yet treated to a far lower standard. The hypocrisy screams to the heavens. But if you accuse anyone of antisemitism they are all offended.

  5. Pingback: Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital |

  6. Debby Potter says:

    There is a LOT of excitement in America for this news! Don’t let our inept mainstream media (who try to invent or suppress news, depending on whether or not they like it or not) speak for the majority of us (who DID elect this president)! 🙂 Trump was elected on his promises, and this was one of them! Congratulations that the American embassy will be moved to Jerusalem. What do you see happening with the Temple Mount now?

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your input Debby. It’s so hard to see through all the lies of the media.

      I don’t actually see anything changing on the Temple Mount, at least for now. The Arabs are threatening violence (surprise!) and Israel is going to be very careful to keep things as much on an even keel as possible. In the long run, who knows? We now have a tail wind at our back with Trump in the White House. It all depends on how much guts our own leadership has. It’s a tightrope walk that’s for sure.

    • Earl says:

      I disagree with your “majority” electing trump (Clinton carried the popular vote), but your other points stand.

      As for the Temple Mount, insh’allah 😉 , Shelley Adelson will effect the action that Eshkol and Dayan failed to do in 1967: viz., raze that bloody mosque and build the Third Temple. What’s the worst that could happen? The Muslim world explodes in Dark Age violence and the “Palestinians” hate the Jews…?

      • anneinpt says:

        Well, precisely. everyone has been warning about violence, mayhem, gloom and doom. But we get that anyway! It’s not as if it’s all been peaceful until now.

        I saw Caroline Glick on Sky News earlier. She was great, said it how it is, much to the discomfort of Kay Burley. In answer to Burley’s question about aren’t we worried about the possibility of violence, Glick answered “they don’t need an excuse. If they don’t have one they make one up” – or words to that effect. I was cheering her on loudly in my lounge! When Burley mentioned that “the Palestinians want Jerusalem as their capital” she was also very emphatic, saying “So what? What has that got to do with Jerusalem being Israel’s capital? Why should Israel be a 2nd class citizen on the world stage and be the only country not allowed to define its own capital”.

        Oh, she was brilliant. Maybe I’ll find a recording. I know you’re a fan of hers. 🙂

        Stay tuned for my next post.

    • Debby says:

      In America we have two levels of voting. The popular vote is divided into districts, so that people like me who live in less populated areas are not drown out by localized gang voting. Of the electoral vote, Trump was a majority, and I thank G-d for giving our founding fathers that insight in our Constitution! On a more personal “belief” level, I have no doubt that Hillary stole the democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders and she was surely as underhanded in attempting, despite failing, to steal the election from Trump. It was unnecessary to follow through on it, but voter fraud in favor of the democratic ticket was so rampant that two kids went to jail because they got caught simply because the clerks personally knew the dead people voting. 🙄

      I’m not anxious to debate, but just defensive of my president, since he’s continually attacked by the media here (and it appears that the Dems have created a shadow government to overthrow our president). It’s nearly as interesting as middle east politics here these days! 😉

      That said, I said the same thing when the Palestinians promised their “Day of Rage” against America for the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I nearly feel like interjecting praise to G-d for delivering once again on his promises to write that!

      Like the Palestinians need an excuse to attack anyone. They’re out of control…

      • anneinpt says:

        I understand your need to defend the President. We have a similar situation here in Israel with Netanyahu. They might not be perfect and are flawed individuals, but when it comes to leading their countries there is no one better at the moment.

        As for the violence threatened by the Palestinians, well, it’s nothing new. See my next post on the subject.

        • Debby says:

          Yes, I couldn’t be happier, home or abroad, with how our nation is being run now. We’re not cowering like defenseless children in a world full of adults, like we did under Obama. Of course, that was only for show, because what he really was anti-America, anti-Israel, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. 😒

  7. Jeff Polaski says:

    Well, I didn’t vote for Trump, but he did it. He upheld a foundational concept of democracy: not to let a runaway religious demand throw a nation off its tracks. As a Jewish American veteran, I am proud.
    To the radical muslims grown accustomed to their bully tactics, their leaders said to act with restraint: To act with restraint. That’s good.
    Three days of “rage” would only lead to torn rotator cuffs, hernias, slipped disks and missed days of work or job hunting. Not to mention too much over exertion and traffic issues.
    Go to the UN; the United Nations would be pleased to rubber stamp your protest resolutions. But, don’t emulate Nikita Khrushchev: banging shoes on the desk has been shown to spread disease and generally shorten the useful life of shoe leather.
    Unless, of course, you misunderstand your leaders, thinking that their saying the word “Restraint” is really their usual code for riot. mayhem and murder.

    • anneinpt says:

      If only the Arabs had the sense, the seichel as they say in Yiddish, to listen to your wise words of experience. Sadly I can almost guarantee that they won’t.

  8. leelonghwa says:

    Thank you Anne. I love your well-documented incisive posts.

    After 8 years of betrayal, finally we have a President that just blurts out the truth. It’s about time. Hard to imagine the world can pretend that 3,000 years of Jewish history never happened. Maybe the world will have to come to terms with an American President who tells it like it is. I hope so. It’s been a while since we had that. The Jew-haters say they will resort to violence. Maybe they will do terrible things and the world will blame Israel. Yawn. Same old, same old. So, what else is new with the Arabs and Palestinians? At least the violence will be overshadowed by the truth, and people will have to get accustomed to the new reality. Day by day, a new reality, until take it or leave it is the only choice.

    • anneinpt says:

      Donald Trump is indeed the most refreshing thing to hit the White House since… I’m not sure when. Maybe Ronald Reagan. Trump is no intellectual and no ideologue. But maybe because of that he is such a breath of fresh air. He simply sees things as they are, without all the political and diplomatic packaging which prevents people from saying the truth. And he has no “brain-mouth” barrier. He says what he thinks, and then goes and does it. One may not like it but no one can say they weren’t warned!

      What an unusual situation in politics!

      And you are 100% right about the expected violence (see my next post). It’s the same old same old. The Arabs do not need an excuse, they will make one up if necessary if it suits their purposes and enables them to defame Israel. The world has let them get away with this for too long, kowtowing cravenly to their threats. And now here is Donald Trump who shook up the board and rearranged the pieces.

      What a wonderful day!!

    • Debby says:

      Leelonghwa, I wish I could give your post a thumbs up, so I’ll just say “totally agree” with you here!

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