Jerusalem as Israel’s capital derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: UN, Pope Francis, World leaders condemns US President Donald Trump’s announcement

December 7, 2017 8:41 am
President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday to recognize as Israel’s capital could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, two senior White House officials acknowledged after Trump’s speech.
The question now for those officials: For how long?
“We’re prepared for derailment — temporary, I hope. Pretty sure it will be temporary,” said a senior White House official, who acknowledged that the President’s peace team has not spoken with furious Palestinian officials since the Trump’s announcement.
That “derailment” was a cost the White House was prepared to accept to fulfill Trump’s campaign promise. And two senior White House officials said they felt making the announcement now — before Israelis and Palestinians have reached the negotiating table — would help mitigate the damage to the peace process.
“A lot of people put their heads into this decision to see how do we make this happen without at the same time throwing the peace process out of the window,” one of the officials said.
“In terms of a moment where it could happen, where it could be the least disruptive at a moment in time, this is the moment,” the second official said. “We know there will be some short term pain, but think it will help in the long run.”
Trump’s decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and direct the State Department to begin moving the embassy there comes after months during which Trump’s peace team has focused on meeting with Israelis and Palestinians, gathering ideas and building relationships. Now, the officials said, they are in the midst of drafting a tentative peace accord, but have yet to seek to draw both sides back to the negotiating table.
But the move left Palestinian officials fuming, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb Erakat blasting the decision and claiming Trump’s move “disqualified” the from mediating the peace process.
The White House officials expressed hope that the Trump administration has built enough trust with the Palestinians to push through the current friction, but could not say when they believed the relationship would be patched up.Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, which bucked seven decades of US , came amid a string of setbacks for Palestinians, including a threat from the State Department to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Washington office.
While Trump had previously expressed a desire to hold off on moving the embassy to gauge the prospects for peace, the officials said Trump decided to move forward with the announcement because it will take months before US officials know if the current process — led by the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt — is likely to bear fruit.
And while senior administration officials have expressed hope that the move could help facilitate the peace process, two senior White House officials acknowledged Wednesday that that was not a central goal.
“His decision wasn’t meant to help (the peace team). It was meant to do what he chose to do, but it was also meant to respect his other goal which is to reach a historic peace agreement,” one senior White House official said.

Pope Francis, the United Nations, the European Union and others have criticized President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

The international leaders in separate statements, criticized the Trump administration’s decision on Wednesday to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing it as a dangerous disruption that contravenes several United Nations resolutions and could inflame one of the world’s thorniest conflicts.
UN Secretary General, António Guterres and Pope Francis both expressed alarm that the announcement would provoke new tensions in the Holy City, which is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Within minutes of Mr. Trump’s speech, in which he said the American Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mr. Guterres delivered what amounted to a diplomatic rebuke.

Reading a statement outside the Security Council chambers at United Nations headquarters in New York, Mr. Guterres criticized “any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” underscoring the administration’s departure from decades of American policy.

“Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” Mr. Guterres said.

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution,” he said. “There is no Plan B.”

Pope Francis, the United Nations, the European Union and others have criticized President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

The international leaders in separate statements, criticized the Trump administration’s decision on Wednesday to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing it as a dangerous disruption that contravenes several United Nations resolutions and could inflame one of the world’s thorniest conflicts.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres and Pope Francis both expressed alarm that the announcement would provoke new tensions in the Holy City, which is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Within minutes of Mr. Trump’s speech, in which he said the American Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mr. Guterres delivered what amounted to a diplomatic rebuke.

Reading a statement outside the Security Council chambers at United Nations headquarters in New York, Mr. Guterres criticized “any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” underscoring the administration’s departure from decades of American policy.

“Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” Mr. Guterres said.

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution,” he said. “There is no Plan B.”

In Rome, Pope Francis prayed that Jerusalem’s status be preserved and needless conflict avoided.

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,” Francis said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican. “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.”

“Jerusalem is a unique city,” he said, “sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

Palestinian protesters burned pictures of Donald Trump in the West Bank                 
Traditional US allies are among a growing chorus condemning President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Saudi Arabia called it “unjustified and irresponsible”, while France and the UK said they did not support the decision.
But Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it as “a historic day”.
President Trump’s move reversed decades of US policy. The fate of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Donald Trump’s move as “deplorable”.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are expected to hold a day of strikes and protests on Thursday.
The UN Security Council is to discuss the issue on Friday after eight of the 15 nations called for an emergency session. The Arab League is to meet on Saturday.
What did Trump say?
The US president said on Wednesday he had “judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the of America, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians”.
He said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Despite warnings of regional unrest over any such move, the decision fulfils a campaign promise and appeals to Mr Trump’s right-wing base.
“Today, I am delivering,” the US leader said.
Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he added. “It is also the right thing to do.”
He said the US still supported a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if approved by both sides, which would essentially see the creation of an independent Palestinian state living alongside Israel.
What do Israel and the Palestinians say?
In response, Mr Netanyahu said Israel was profoundly grateful to President Trump.
“Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia,” he tweeted.
The Republican Jewish Coalition thanked the president in a New York Times ad.
The US has asked Israel to temper its response to Mr Trump’s announcement because Washington expects a backlash, Reuters agency reports citing a state department document.
Mahmoud Abbas said the city was the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine”.
He called Mr Trump’s announcement “deplorable”, saying the US could no longer be a peace broker.
There were demonstrations in Gaza ahead of the announcement, and the Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza have called for a general strike and rallies to be held on Thursday.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and has called for a “day of rage” on Friday, said Mr Trump’s decision would “open the doors of hell” on US interests in the region.
What does the rest of the world say?
The Arab and the wider Muslim world – including a number of US allies – condemned Mr Trump’s announcement.
Demonstrations have already taken place outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
“The US move represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem,” the Saudi royal court said.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to “make it clear that we strongly oppose” the US move.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”. He said “there is no alternative to the two-state solution”.
In other reaction:
British PM Theresa May said she disagreed with the US decision, which was “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron both said their countries did not support the move
EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced “serious concern”
Why is the announcement significant?
Mr Trump’s announcement puts the US at odds with the rest of the international community’s view on Jerusalem’s status.
The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but before now it has not been internationally recognised as part of Israel.
In a much anticipated speech in Washington on Wednesday, Trump reversed decades of US policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risked creating further unrest in the Middle East.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said.
Trump said he ordered the state department to develop a plan to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He said he was not taking position on any final status issues, including contested borders.
He also said he intended “to do everything” in his power to help forge a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
In his response, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Trump “destroyed any possibility of peace” and was “pushing this region towards chaos [and] violence”.
“He is destroying all moderates in the region and giving power to extremists,” Erekat told Al Jazeera.
“This is the most dangerous decision that any US president has ever taken.”
Erekat said Trump had “disqualified his country from any possible role in the peace process”.
“How can he talk about peace when he dictates the future of Jerusalem before negotiations begin, in total violation of international law?”
Erekat said it is “meaningless” to have a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.
The only option remaining for Palestinians, he said, “is to fight for equal rights” between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the area of historic Palestine.
US analysts say Trump’s announcement might be intended as an opening move in the administration’s yet-to-be revealed Middle East peace plan, but risks igniting a “powder keg” at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“Jerusalem has a tendency to explode when you fool around with the status quo,” said Aaron David Miller, vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a former Middle East adviser to the Clinton and Bush administrations.
He said the president’s decision could either be part of a strategic plan or a “one-off” born from his desire to fulfil his election campaign promise.
“Some might argue that the president has succeeded at extracting certain assurances from the [Israeli] prime minister on other permanent status issues, but needed this for cover,” Miller said.
“I’d love to believe … that there is a coherence here, but if there is, I am at a loss to understand what it is.”
The immediate grounds for Trump’s announcement was the expiration of the latest six-month waiver delaying relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the US government to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, but allows the president to delay doing so by signing a waiver every six months. The waiver spares the state department financial penalties for failing to comply with the law.
Presidents Bush and Obama signed the waiver twice per year with little fanfare. However, Trump has long hinted he would deviate from his predecessors.
In the lead-up to Wednesday’s speech, Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian politician, told Al Jazeera: “This is a reckless act from the side of the American president … . This is a very dangerous act.
“It does not take into consideration what it means to 1.6 billion Muslims, 2.2 billion Christians and 360 million Arabs.
“It will create a very serious reaction and destabilise the region – and definitely destabilise the situation in Palestine itself.”
Alienating Arabs
On the campaign trail, candidate Trump promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem and, according to Senator Bob Corker, was ready to do so on day one of his presidency.
When Trump used his waiver power last June, an unnamed White House official was quoted saying the move was “a question of when, not if”.
Trump’s announcement risks alienating Palestinians and Arab countries that would be key to any peace plan, experts say.
“Accepting to move the embassy to Jerusalem means that the US is participating with Israel in imposing facts on the ground,” Barghouti said.
“This is not a single [isolated] act. This US administration that did not speak even once about a two-state solution. This American administration did not say or mention the world Palestinian state once. 
“This American administration has failed to exercise any pressure on Israel on the issue of settlements, although Israel has enhanced settlement activities in the occupied territories by no less than 100 percent since President Trump was elected.”
For his part, Miller said that by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump is implicitly “validating Israeli claims and sovereignty over part of the city that is aspired to by another national movement”.
Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the Trump administration has been signalling it will soon debut a plan to resolve one of the world’s longest and most intractable conflicts. Wednesday’s announcement could be an opening salvo in that plan – an attempt to open discussions.
“If that’s what this is, it’s likely to backfire given the initial reaction we’ve seen from some of our closest allies and partners like Jordan,” Katulis said.
Public outcry could prime Arab governments to eschew rather than embrace US proposals, he said.
In  a statement, John O Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, also called Trump’s action “reckless”, saying it would “damage US interests in the Middle East for years to come and will make the region more volatile”.
Message to Palestinians
The announcement is likely to dash hopes that the US would give equal weight to Palestinian concerns in future negotiations – hopes raised when administration officials made an effort to meet Palestinian leaders earlier this year.
“I think this will send a message that US administrations have been sending for years: that the Palestinians are not as important as the Israelis, or their views are not as important,” said Katulis.
Jerusalem has long been a flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Violence broke out most recently last summer, after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the al-Aqsa compound.
“I can’t predict violence – I don’t know,” said Miller. “But certainly, if you wanted to make an issue out of this, a quote-unquote ‘defence of Jerusalem,’ it’s a ready-made issue.”
World leaders have warned violent reactions to the US embassy announcement are a distinct possibility.
King Abdullah II of Jordan – speaking at a press conference in Istanbul with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday – said the US was inviting blowback with the decision.
“Ignoring the Palestinian, Muslim, and Christian rights in Jerusalem will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism,” Abdullah said.
Erdogan also highlighted the threat of violence after the US decision.
“No one has the right to play with the fate and development of millions of people for the sake of personal ambitions. Such a step will only play into the hands of terror groups,” Turkey’s president said.
But analysts said the embassy decision will please religious conservatives among Trump’s base, as well as major donors.
Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of the left-wing advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace, said US evangelical Christians – who voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 election – are staunch supporters of Israel’s right-wing government. Wise also cited billionaire Sheldon Adelson, one of Trump’s largest campaign donors, as a possible source of pressure on the president to back Israel’s claim to a united Jerusalem.
Wise is worried the decision would frame a political struggle over land, rights and sovereignty in religious terms.
“Because Jerusalem is a symbol of holiness to so many religions, creating a tension around Jerusalem runs the risk of shaping or framing this conflict as a religious one, which I think gets us further and further away from a more equitable solution,” Wise said.
“It really is a match in the powder keg, a decision like this.”
For his part, Barghouti, the Palestinian politician, said: “This is an administration that obviously is, to a large extent, taking its decision according to the will and pressure of the Israeli Zionist lobby in Washington.
“The Palestinian people will react, with a public, popular non-violent uprising. That’s what you will see tomorrow, after tomorrow and the days after.
“This is a very serious matter. People should not forget that the second intifada started because of the issue of Jerusalem and I believe that … Trump will be killing completely any future American role in any future peace process.”
The UN Security Council will meet on Friday in emergency session to discuss the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the council’s leadership announced Wednesday.
The talks — requested by eight nations — will begin at 10:00 am (1500 GMT), but there are other items on the agenda, so the Jerusalem issue may not come up until the late morning, said Japan, which holds the council’s rotating presidency.
Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay requested the talks. They have also asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to open the meeting with remarks.
After Trump’s announcement, Guterres said Jerusalem’s final status could only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Guterres added that he had “consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures.”
“There is no alternative to the two-state solution.”
Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.”
“It’s a threat not just to the peace process, but also it’s a threat to international peace and security,” said the envoy.
Palestinian protesters burn a picture of US President Donald Trump and the Israeli flag in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on December 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting on the recognition by the US of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel as world leaders and political figures continue to censure Washington’s highly contentious move.
Diplomats said the session will be held on Friday at the request of eight member states of the 15-member council, including France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay.
The eight have also asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to officially open the meeting.
“The UN has given Jerusalem [al-Quds] a special legal and political status, which the Security Council has called upon the international community to respect. That is why we believe the Council needs to address this issue with urgency,” Deputy Swedish UN Ambassador Carl Skau said.
Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which violates international law and the resolutions of the Security Council.”
Trump on Wednesday defied global warnings and said the US formally recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.
The announcement has triggered a chorus of condemnations from around the world.
Muslim nations boil with rage
The Iraqi government on Thursday slammed Trump’s announcement and called on Washington to backtrack on the move.
“The US administration has to backtrack on this decision to stop any dangerous escalation that would fuel extremism and create conditions favorable to terrorism,” a government statement said on Thursday.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also said that Trump’s decision completely disregarded a 1980 United Nations resolution regarding the status of the city, adding that move would throw the region into a “ring of fire.”
Palestinian refugee family watches a televised broadcast of US President Donald Trump delivering an address at a Palestinian refugee camp, near Amman, Jordan December 6, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on the Islamic world to strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
“I call on all Muslims across the world to let your voices be heard, make it clear that we strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem [al-Quds] as Israel’s capital for all time,” Najib said in his speech at an annual gathering of the ruling party in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement and expressed concerns over Trump’s move, calling on Washington to reconsider its decision.
The statement said that Trump’s announcement would put an end to all efforts towards the resolution of the Palestinian issue.
“It would have grave repercussions not only towards the security and stability of the region, but would inflame sentiments, making efforts to combat terrorism all the more difficult,” it said.
It warned that any attempts to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel or establish any diplomatic mission in the city are viewed as aggression towards the Arab and Islamic world.
“It is also an infringement on the Palestinian people’s national rights, including their right to self-determination, and a grave breach of international law along with the Security Council’s relevant resolutions,” the statement added.
The ministry requested United Nations member states not to recognize any changes in the pre-1976 borders, including in connection with Jerusalem, adding that Washington’s move “is an expression of support for Israeli policies, much of which is in contravention of the international law.”
Additionally, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejected the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem [al-Quds].
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, one of Islam’s most important institutions, said Washington’s move “incites feelings of anger among all Muslims and threatens world peace.” 
He warned against the ramifications, saying “the gates of hell will be opened in the West before the East.”
In Lebanon, President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday that Trump’s “dangerous” decision casts doubt on the US’s credibility as a mediator in the peace process in the region.
Morocco also summoned the US charge d’affaires to express its deep concern over Trump’s move.
Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Trump’s move “seriously threatens to undermine the foundations of the (Israeli-Palestinian) peace process.”
Tunisia’s powerful labor union UGTT also said in a separate statement that Trump’s move is a declaration of war, calling for mass protests.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani called the US president’s announcement “a dangerous escalation,” saying it was a death sentence for all who seek peace.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Foreign Ministry also joined the chorus of condemnations.
In a Thursday statement the ministry “expressed deep concern over the repercussions of this decision on the region’s stability as it inflames the emotions of the Arab and Muslim people due to the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] in the conscience of Arabs and Muslims.”
EU against Trump’s move
The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday expressed “serious concern” over Trump’s move, saying it could have “repercussions” for the prospect of peace in the Middle East.
Mogherini said the EU and its member states would continue to respect the international consensus on the location of their diplomatic representations in Israel until the final status of Jerusalem al-Quds was resolved.
“The EU calls on all actors on the ground and in the wider region to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation. The focus should remain on creating conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations that can resolve all final status issues,” she said.
She highlighted the necessity of the so-called two-state solution as “the only realistic way of bringing the lasting peace and security” to the region.
In December last year, a UN Security Council resolution, which was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration,  underlined that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”
The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is currently under Israel’s control, while the regime also claims the city’s eastern part, which hosts the third holiest Muslim site.
The city has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967 Arab War, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Trump had vowed during his presidential campaign that he would relocate the US embassy in order to court pro-Israel voters.
Palestinians have repeatedly warned Trump against such an action, saying it would deliver a death blow to any prospects of the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and fuel extremism in the region.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a UN Security Council meeting on November 29, 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the US is not taking sides in the dispute over east Jerusalem al-Quds, after President Donald Trump has officially declared Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
In a speech at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, which is expected to take years.
Haley said that Trump did not mention east Jerusalem al-Quds in his announcement and said it will be up to Israelis and Palestinians during peace talks to determine the fate of the disputed parts of the city. 
“That’s for the two sides to decide,” Haley told CNN on Wednesday. “That’s not for the United States to decide.”
“We don’t want to pick a side on this,” she added.
East Jerusalem al-Quds was occupied in 1967 and Israel later annexed it despite international condemnations. The occupied city’s final status is one of the thorniest issues in the stalemated talks between the Palestinian Authority and Tel Aviv.
Claiming all of al-Quds as its “eternal and indivisible” capital, Israel annexed the eastern part, where a number of sites sacred to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, are located, following the 1967 Six-Day War.
The annexation is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and has never been recognized by the international community.
Trump in his Wednesday’s announcement said he would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, but also signed a six-month waiver delaying the move.
‘Armed resistance is only effective road map for peace’
International lawyer and political analyst Barry Grossman told Press TV on Thursday that Trump’s announcement “has not actually done anything except recognize the rather absurd political status quo and the pundits are naively saying that since Trump did not use the expression ‘undivided Jerusalem’ in purporting to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he has not actually done anything except give effect to the political status quo.”
However, he further observed that “of course, these same pundits also ignore all that the occupation has done for decades on the ground to make Jerusalem a de facto undivided city.” 
“Meanwhile, we should all realize that his asinine position on Jerusalem is different from Russia’s official position only in its timing,” he stated.
“In a sense, Haley is right in that the evil genius in Trump’s latest pronouncement is that it is an entirely abstract gesture which does not actually change anything and therefore cannot be meaningfully challenged except perhaps in another round of absurd US Federal Court cases challenging government refusals to issue passports to individuals who claim to have been born in what they describe as Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” the commentator said.
“Still, Trump could not be more wrong than he is about this sell-out to Zionists and the Necon lobby,” he added.
Grossman further opined that “it is naive to imagine that any of this is being done out of a desire for peace, bearing in mind that there will be no peace until there is justice.”
“As for peace,” the analyst said that “there already is an effective road map for genuine peace in Palestine and the wider Middle East, and that road map is called “armed resistance.”
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