Americans for Peace Now strongly opposes any move by the Trump Administration to alter
longstanding US policy on Jerusalem outside the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians. Here is what you need to know:
1. President Trump made a landmark announcement on Jerusalem on December 6th.
President Trump did two things in his speech: he reversed 70
years of American policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and he announced plans to move the US
embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
2. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, without any acknowledgment of Palestinian claims to
Jerusalem, is the root of the problem.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. But the timing of international, and particularly American,
recognition of this matters – as do the particular borders of Jerusalem that are recognized. The reason is that
Palestinians also have legitimate claims to Jerusalem as the capital of their eventual state and any realistic
peace plan includes at least some portion of East Jerusalem as that capital.
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, in the absence of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,
recognizes Israeli claims to Jerusalem while giving the Palestinians nothing. And timing matters. Trump’s impending
announcement is occurring as Congress prepares to cut, through the Taylor Force Act, aid that
would benefit the Palestinian Authority, and following Trump’s
near-decision to close the PLO mission to Washington. (Since Trump's announcement, PA President Mahmoud Abbas
recalled Palestinian diplomats in protest.) Adding to that, US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and/or
relocation of the US embassy creates a “triple whammy” against the Palestinians. It will severely damage American
credibility as an honest broker of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and in foreign policy more broadly. So
much for President Trump’s avowed desire to make the “ultimate deal.”