President Donald Trump boldly announced Wednesday the intention of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“[T]oday, we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done,” Trump said in his public address to the nation.
“That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners so a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace,” he continued.
The international community, supporting a two-state solution, does not recognize Israel's claim on the whole of Jerusalem. The Palestinians want Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
Both former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but they never followed through once in office.
President Trump reiterated this move is not a “departure” from a “strong commitment” for a lasting peace agreement among the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The president acknowledged that peace is to be ultimately decided by the the parties involved: “The United States would support a two-state solution, if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram esh-Sharif.”