Published on December 7th 2017 in The Jerusalem Post
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and would move its embassy there, upending decades of a diplomatic consensus over the status of the city pioneered by his predecessors.
Citing a 1995 law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, compelling the president make the move absent national security risks, Trump said the time had come to recognize what everyone already knows to be true. "Jerusalem is the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times," he said. "Today Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's government."
"This is nothing more or less than a recognition of the reality," he added.
He directed the State Department to begin preparing the move, which may take years as the government scopes out a location, hires architects and plans for what is sure to be a challenging security environment.
Trump made the announcement despite fierce opposition from America's closest allies in recent days. European and Arab world leaders alike, including Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the pope, said that he was recklessly challenging a delicate status quo over the city, in which the international community has insisted its future must be determined in direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves.
Trump said that his move does not change his commitment to that negotiated settlement– and underscored his commitment by endorsing a two-state solution for the first time.
"We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians," he said. "The United States would support a two state solution if agreed to by both sides."
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