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Report-White House officials admit
Donald Trump has hurt any chances
of brokering peace between Israel
and Palestine
by Nathan'ette Burdine: December 12, 2017
 


CNN is reporting that White House officials are admitting that President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has hurt any chances of brokering a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Elise Labott cited senior officials within the Trump Administration who stated that Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed concern about ending a 38-year-old policy of U.S. presidents remaining silent about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel.

It is a position that was taken during former President Jimmy Carter’s tenure, following the Camp David Accord in 1979.

The Camp David Accord settled the longstanding feud between Egypt and Israel, but left the Israel and Palestine feud unsettled.

The sensitivity surrounding Jerusalem is due to the Palestinians losing control of East Jerusalem to the Israelis after the 1967 Middle Eastern War.

The Palestinians have maintained that East Jerusalem should be returned to them as their capital, while the Israelis have held steadfast to their belief that Jerusalem is the holy city and Jewish ancient capital that should remain a part of Israel.

Trump reasoned that his decision to break the 38-year-old policy is due to neither side reaching an agreement on the issue and the hope that his decision will push both Israeli and Palestinian representatives to the negotiation table to resolve the issue involving Jerusalem.

Trump commented, “Presidents issues these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time…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.”

Trump also noted that the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

He went on to say that the U.S. Congress’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel along with the fact that the Israeli government is located in Jerusalem is enough to recognize the “reality” that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

It was reported that Tillerson came out and agreed with Trump that the U.S. can’t get around the “reality” that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision, saying it’s “an important step towards peace.”

A peace which Netanyahu believes cannot occur if Jerusalem isn’t recognized as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinians, however, say this decision by Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has ended any chances of there being peace between Israel and Palestine.

The U.S.’ allies cautioned Trump about his decision, citing an increase chance of upheaval throughout the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “concern” that the U.S.’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel hindered any efforts for the Israelis and Palestinians to agree upon a peace deal that resolves the issue of Jerusalem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is “a red line” for those of the Muslim faith.

Effigies of Trump and the U.S. flag have been burned outside the U.S. Consulates in Turkey, Egypt, and Israel; with the Iraqi government calling the U.S. ambassador to Iraq to Baghdad to discuss the severity of the issue.

NBC has reported that the U.S. State Department has issued a warning for U.S. citizens not to travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank.






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