Opinion: What Donald Trump’s Decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem Means to the Arab World

Opinion: What Donald Trump’s Decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem Means to the Arab World

[Byline: Shaezmina Khan]

Newly inaugurated President Donald Trump is about to reverse the course of history that has been in the making for the past century.

The under-qualified, demagogic politician fails to comprehend the grave danger and harm that lies in his decision to move the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If and when Donald Trump goes through with this settlement, he will unleash an incident of chaos in an already fraught and unpredictable region. The city has been a pressure point in the decade-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Western mainstream media, the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem centers around military power and influence. But Trump’s decision to move the embassy reflects not only his thoughtlessness and hasty character, but also his unsympathetic attitude towards Palestinian pleas and international warnings. Although initially Trump promised to keep a distance between Palestinians and Israel, he later backtracked on his position and adopted the position of the Israeli government.

“The message after this move would be clear and provocative,” said Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official and former foreign minister. “Moving the embassy is the same as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It’s a war crime, and there’s no way the Arab world would accept it. It would mean the end of all peace progress,” he told Al Jazeera.

This move would retreat from the historical American position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while it would also undermine the past U.S. administrations’ endeavors to act as an objective sponsor of the peace progress.

Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, Jerusalem’s status in the world has been of importance to all Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. This region in the middle east was designated as an international area, owing to its shared religious significance. However, in 1967, after wrongfully occupying Palestine through a series of hostile conflicts and displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes through using force and brutality, Israel took occupation of the rest of historic Palestine, including Palestine’s east Jerusalem. The international community condemned and rejected the Israeli occupation, with significant stress on Jerusalem.

Many countries around the world reject Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and Palestine alike, as it has been dubbed as inhumane, falsely justified and a violent international crime on the part of the Israel. After Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, approximately 90,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes in the second half of 2015. The livelihood and security of Palestinian communities has largely been as risk since the Israeli occupation due to unfair treatment and racial prejudice. Palestinians are also living under extremely precarious living conditions. Residents in Gaza see Israelis constructing condos right across the border from their crumbling homes.

In the face of adversary, American-Palestinians, native Palestinians, and the international community have hoped to see the United States play the part of bilateral mediator. However, the United States’ attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Jerusalem has been marred with many contradictions. Now,  a pro-Israel U.S. Congress and the equally pro-Israel but slightly more practical White House are disabling the U.S.’s ability to act impartially.

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would send a message that the U.S. accepts, and even supports the Israeli claim to former and rightful Palestinian land, rejecting the Palestinian sovereignty in an area that is overwhelmingly Palestinian in population. Donald Trump has received a flood of warnings, as fulfilling the pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be extremely disastrous.



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