Donald Trump is expected to announce the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, beginning the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to the city. This move comes despite recommendations to the contrary from a number of world leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Arab League head Ahmed Aboul-Gheit also warned against the move.
Trump called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, along with other Arab leaders, to inform them of his decision on Tuesday.
This decision is incredibly controversial because it is at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What the Trump administration calls “a recognition of reality” will acknowledge and legitimize Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem in 1976. It marks a sharp turn in U.S. foreign policy and with this decision the U.S. will become the first and only country in the world to officially recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Trump’s decision could have dire consequences, possibly undermining peace efforts and inciting unrest in the region. Trump seems to be acting out of a desire to mark another item off of the checklist of campaign promises he has yet to fulfill, a means of satisfying a voter base base that is largely pro-Israel. Palestinian groups are calling for continued resistance, and are planning protests starting Wednesday and continuing through Friday at the very least.
This latest misstep on behalf of the Trump administration is dangerous and serves only to further validate Israeli colonialism and brutal military occupation of stolen Palestinian lands.