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Jerusalem Capital Recognition Stirs Conflict, Turmoil, and Global Debate

Jalil Javed and Henry Kincaid-

President Donald Trump announced late on Wednesday that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking a longtime presidential policy. Trump also added that the US Embassy will be moving from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, likely in an attempt to add a certain degree of finality and validity to the decree.

Jerusalem has been the site of particular controversy, even by Israeli/Palestinian standards; both states claim that Jerusalem is their capital, making it difficult for the global community to deal with the subject of Jerusalem, without angering one of the sides.

While Israel has praised Trump for his statement, major pro-Palestinian protests have taken place in the West Bank, Turkey, and Lebanon, many of which are still ongoing.

 

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Pro-Palestinian Protesters (AP)

 

The issue was discussed during a live television debate hosted by RT between retired colonel Reuven Berko, an ‘Arab affairs’ analyst for the Israel Today newspaper, and Ahmed al-Burai, a lecturer at Istanbul Aydin University.

Berko, the analyst, said that the decision was “very important despite the fact that, as far as I remember, from a historical point of view, the kings of the dynasties of Israel never consulted with Erdogan or any other regime at the time they put the Israeli capital in Jerusalem at the time of the Kingdom of Israel.”

“And by the way, I never heard about Palestine, even not in the Koran,” he said, adding that “Palestinian people are very important.”

“We want to create a Palestinian state, the first in history, side by side with Israel. But unfortunately, Jerusalem is like a wife, you can’t share a wife. You already got married to Jerusalem 3,000 years ago. So, this is a ridiculous demand by the Palestinians,” Berko stated in the interview.

 

A Palestinian protester hurls stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a protest against U.S. President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah
A protester throws an object (possibly a rock) through plumes of black tar smoke (AP)

 

 

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Jordanian MPs at the US Embassy in Jordan, protesting Trump’s decision (Reuters)

 

In regards to the ‘fact’ that Jerusalem is considered to be the home of the third holiest site in Islam, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Berko said that the Israelis “really respect that [the site}.”

Al-Bueai, the lecturer, responded by saying that the rhetoric used by his opponent was “obsolete”, citing the 1947 treaty, saying that “[the treaty] stipulates that Jerusalem should be an independent entity – neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis will be controlling this city till the final stages.”

Hamas, a dominant Palestinian political force made a statement on Tuesday, calling for Palestinians to “make Friday a day of rage against the occupation, rejecting moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of the Zionist entity.”

Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas, said that the move by Donald Trump had “crossed every red line,” and that it was a “dangerous escalation” in Palestinian-Israel conflicts.

Featured Image: AFP

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