The U.S. is opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Why is there a furor?

By Stephen Farrell May 14, 2018 Reuters

Source Link: The U.S. is opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Why is there a furor?

{An informative primer . – LS}

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United States opens its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.

The opening ceremony is at a U.S. consular building in the Arnona neighborhood. It will house an interim embassy for the ambassador and a small staff until a larger site is found.

The compound cuts across the 1949 Armistice Line that separated West Jerusalem from No Man’s Land, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War and has held under occupation ever since.

The embassy move follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last December to break with decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision, saying it reflected that “the Jewish people have had a capital for 3,000 years, and that it is called Jerusalem.”

But the move upset the Arab world and Western allies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a “slap in the face” and said the United States can no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

Trump said his administration has a peace proposal in the works and that by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of America’s closest ally he had “taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table.”

WHY DID TRUMP RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL AND ANNOUNCE THE EMBASSY WILL BE MOVED THERE?

There has long been pressure from pro-Israel politicians in Washington to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and Trump made it a promise of his 2016 election campaign.

Vice-President Mike Pence and David Friedman, the ambassador to Israel appointed by Trump, are thought to have pushed hard for both recognition and embassy relocation.

The decision was popular with many conservative and evangelical Christians who voted for Trump and Pence.

Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem. But Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama consistently signed waivers.

Announcing his decision on Dec. 6, Trump cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act and suggested his predecessors had “lacked courage.” He said: “They failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

WHY DOES JERUSALEM PLAY SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT?

Religion, politics and history.

Jerusalem is a city sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and each religion has sites of great significance there. Jerusalem has been fought over for millennia by its inhabitants, and by regional powers and invaders including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, early Muslim rulers, Crusaders, Ottomans, the British Empire and by the modern states of Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jews call the city Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim, and Arabs call it Al-Quds (“The Holy”).

At the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City is the hill known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary. It was home to the Jewish temples of antiquity but all that remains above ground is a restraining wall for the foundations built by Herod the Great. Known as the Western Wall, this is a sacred place of prayer for Jews.

Explore posts in the same categories: U.S. Embassy In Israel, U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem, US Embassy Relocation Act

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One Comment on “The U.S. is opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Why is there a furor?”

  1. Hadenoughalready Says:

    Why? While some may say it’s a “political” reason, I find it to be entirely prophetic. (The Almighty’s Hands work in strange ways)
    We are in the year of Jubilees, the 70th week of years from Israel’s inception as a “Nation of Return”.
    Recognizing Jeru’salem, the “City of Peace”, was not a “new concept” but an old one, written of at instruction of HaShem, Himself.
    So it was written; so shall it be!
    Congratulations, Eretz, Yisrael and All who abide in her. May HaShem Bless and Keep her safe forever more!


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