Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to relocate the U.S. embassy there, a decision that could inflame tensions in the region and throw a wrench in potential peace negotiations.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said during a speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
Trump framed the decision as a way to put his own stamp on one of history’s oldest conflicts.
“The record is in: after more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” the president said. “It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”
The move showed Trump’s inclination to prioritize domestic politics over the desires of U.S. allies in the Middle East and Europe who warned the announcement could spark violence in a region that is already a powder keg.
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“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver,” the president said. “Today, I am delivering.”
And of course, Trump couldn’t help but slam former Pres. BarackObama. “Many presidents have said they want to do something and they didn’t do it. Whether it’s courage or they changed their mind, I can’t tell you,” Trump said, portraying himself as daring to fulfill a promise that previous presidents have shied away from.
Some say past presidents "lacked courage," Trump says. "But today we finally acknowledge the obvious–that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It's also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done."
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) December 6, 2017
FULL TEXT: President Trump's proclamation on Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of Israel: pic.twitter.com/pYGTW8OWD0
— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) December 6, 2017