President Donald announced on Tuesday the US embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem, breaking from past US stand and likely to fuel Arab nationalism against NATO allies. Trump held calls with the leaders of Palestine, Jordan and Egypt on Tuesday to inform them of his decision to move the embassy.
White House said Trump is to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital today with a possible delay in relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months.
Washington’s provocative move comes despite warnings that such a step would impact regional peace and stability.
Almost every leader in the region has voiced concern if not outright condemnation of the move. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the move ‘dangerous’ , Jordan’s King Abdullah II – a close US ally on war against terror- questioned the move and marked it as a serious threat to regional peace.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in a statement, also warned Trump of grave consequences.
In 1947, for the creation of Israel, the United Nations mandated to divide British ruled Palestine into three a Jewish controlled state, an Arab nation and Jerusalem, which would have a unique status as an internationally controlled city.
Jewish leaders largely agreed to the plan, but the Arabs, however rejected it.
Following the British withdrawal successive wars between Arabs and Israelis enabled the later to annex the holy city entirely; including the eastern old city which became part of Israel post 1967 war. Almost all peace settlements, including once proposed by Washington in past, consider Israel’s boundaries to be pre-1967 Arab-Israel war.
The present Trump proposal backtracks on a long held US position in the region and is likely to fuel Anti-American anger on streets. It may transform the region into uniting under a Pan-Arab nationalism much like a repeat of rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser and that of Baathist movements. It will also create problems for countries like India which have good relations with both the Jewish state as well as the Arab states.
With Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the custodians of Islam’s holy sites issuing strong warnings to US, this move can seriously jeopardize world peace and inflame passions that may be misused by Islamic State or Muslim Brotherhood