According to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947, Jerusalem was to be an international area managed under UN supervision, due to the Holy Sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Israeli government, however, is very clear about claiming Jerusalem as their capital city: today Israel’s PM office, the parliament, the high courts, and most government ministries reside in [west] Jerusalem.
But UN General Assembly Resolution 478 make it clear that Israeli occupation on east Jerusalem (officially owned by Jordan) after the 1967 war is illegal, and thus Jerusalem cannot be their capital city. Hence, the embassies of other countries are all in Tel Aviv, the de jure capital city.
Then, enter Donald Trump. The US president has just announced that he is going to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, potentially igniting yet another Trump fire in the world.
Previously, in 1995 US Congress passed a law to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999, but provided a 6 month waiver that can be constantly renewed, which every single president has renewed ever since, including Trump himself on June 2017. So what’s the difference now? Why on earth would he do the thing that analysts say as a political suicide with no upside?
The most immediate answer is Trump is appealing to his base of evangelicals and pro-Israel American Jews. But there’s more to it. Just few days ago former national security adviser Michael Flynn confirmed that Donald Trump’s inner circle colluded with a foreign government before entering power. The twist was, it was not Russia as everyone had expected (not directly anyway), but Israel. This did not cause an uproar as it should, because it’s Israel, the little brother. But this move to Jerusalem is the direct result of this illegal collusion.
Trump knows that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will practically put a death sentence on the “peace process”, at the loss of the Palestinians and at a huge gain for the Israeli government. And that’s the whole point. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never gives a shit about the two-state solution, he keeps on building illegal settlements in east Jerusalem (some of which were indirectly funded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner) while “trying to negotiate” with the Palestinians, and now he seems to be enjoying his return on investment on Trump.
It is a sign of a demise when the empire that used to have “friendly dictators” across the globe to protect their interests, now have a leader who himself is a puppet to another state.
A Guide to the dispute over Jerusalem and Israel’s capital [Bloomberg QuickTake]
A good long read to understand the big context [Informed Comments / Juan Cole]
An Israeli dream might come true if Trump declares Jerusalem the capital – but so will an Arab nightmare [The Independent / Robert Fisk]
What a US embassy in Jerusalem means to Palestinians [Al Jazeera English / Farah Najjar]
World leaders condemn Trump’s Jerusalem plan [Euronews / Alasdair Sandford]
Netanyahu left without any cards to play [Al Monitor / Akiva Eldar]
The Jerusalem announcement won’t really hurt America’s Arab alliances [The Atlantic / Shadi Hamid]
Is Sheldon Adelson behind Trump’s decision on Jerusalem [+972 Mag / Eli Clifton]
A matter of debate: the sickest, and scariest, reason why Donald Trump is moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, is to cater the end-of-days scenario long dreamed by his far-right followers [Twitter / Diana Butler Bass]
Some facts about Israel that you may not know [Edwin Setiadi]