Trump’s Christmastime announcement, made first to Abbas and confirmed Wednesday by the White House, is a violent and irresponsible act: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Next up — peace. The renowned “pacifist” is now insisting on moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, de facto recognizing that it belongs wholly to the state of Israel. He is impudently sweeping under the rug the fact that international law considers the city as shared, with a western Israeli and an eastern Palestinian part.
Trump is blowing smoke with “humanitarian” claims: the new U.S. embassy “will be a magnificent tribute to peace,” he says. Instead, it makes the real balance of power perfectly clear, effectively voiding the increasingly unlikely promise of peace according to the slogan “two peoples, two states.” But Trump’s statement only comes as a culmination of much — too much — silence and complicity by the West, since all have contributed to erasing the Palestinian issue from the global agenda.
While the world looks away, a real tragedy is playing out every day in the lives of millions of people under military occupation in the West Bank, in Gaza — only formally “unoccupied” — and in East Jerusalem. Two U.N. resolutions passed after the 1967 War recognized these territories as Palestinian, calling on the occupying state to liberate them — a call that has been ignored.