The world has certainly changed in the past 12 hours. Around the world governments, non government actors, everyday people are assessing what it means to have the American embassy in Jerusalem and for the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
(From The Jerusalem Post)
…if, as some are speculating, he will “split the difference” on the issue – meaning that he will not move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but will issue a statement in the coming days recognizing at least part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – then this would give him leverage going forward with his peace plan with both the Palestinians and the Israelis.
If the Palestinians prove inflexible in negotiations, he could hang over their head the prospect of not only issuing a declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but also actually moving the embassy. By the same token, he could threaten Israel – if he thought it was the recalcitrant party in negotiations – with not moving the embassy.
(From The Guardian)
The spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the US was “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight”. He added that the Organisation for Islamic Co-operation would meet in Istanbul on 13 December in a special session to co-ordinate a response.
The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, disclosed he had told the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, that Washington was making a grave mistake, and the whole world was against the decision. Turkey has suggested it might cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the plan goes ahead.
(From The Washington Post)
Whether Trump says so or not, to many moving the embassy would be an implicit recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. However, the White House said on Tuesday that the administration is likely to look at another option — leaving the embassy in Tel Aviv but issuing a formal declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
In some ways, this may be a less controversial choice. The United States, like many other countries, has long recognized that the Israelis consider Jerusalem their capital. A small number of countries have officially stated that the city is Israel’s capital: In June, the island nation of Vanuatu recognized Jerusalem as a capital, the Israeli press reported, while Russia declared in a statement in April that it would recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
(From The New York Times)
“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations,” Francis said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,” he said.
Netanyahu on Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration: Our National, Historical Identity Being Recognized Today
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel’s “historical and national identity is receiving important expressions every day, but especially today.” The prime minister was speaking in a Facebook video ahead of the expected announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Earlier Wednesday, in his first public comments since the White House confirmed Trump will make the Jerusalem announcement, Netanyahu avoided any mention of the decision. Instead, the prime minister focused his remarks on the Iranian threat to the region on Wednesday.
“If he says what he is intending to say about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, it means a kiss of death to the two-state solution,” Manuel Hassassian told BBC radio Wednesday in an interview that was picked up by Reuters.
“He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims (and) hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel,” Hassassian said.