JJP condemns Donald Trump’s incendiary statement recognising “Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel
Donald Trump has abandoned all pretence of being even-handed between Israel and the Palestinians, or of respecting international law. He recognised “Jerusalem”, not West Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel, and further said that America would not seek to prescribe the city’s boundaries or the contours of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. When he said “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he was praising force over law.
With those casual statements, he gave America’s blessing to Binyamin Netanyahu and his allies to keep as much of Jerusalem and the West Bank as they want, because he knows full well they have no intention of agreeing a fair resolution of the conflict along the internationally legitimate lines. Netanyahu will now be emboldened to keep expanding the settlements. He will insist that negotiations resume solely on Israel’s terms. When Mahmoud Abbas, PLO President, refuses, as he must, he will be blamed for being obstructive.
The consequences of his irresponsibility are already being seen in demonstrations by Palestinians, met with the all-too-usual lethal repression by the Israeli army.
JJP criticises the Board of Deputies for supporting Donald Trump’s reckless act
On December 7, in response to President Trump’s announcement, the President and Vice-President of the Board of Deputies issued a statement entitled: “Recognising the truth of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should ease the path to peace”.
It includes the words: “As soon as Israel declared independence in 1948, it declared Jerusalem as its capital and placed its parliament in the west of the city, in territory recognised as Israel by the international community”. It is hard to imagine a sentence more breathtakingly false. Neither West nor East Jerusalem has ever been recognised as part of Israel by the international community. The 1948 UN Partition Resolution 181 established Jerusalem as “a corpus separatum under an international regime”.
That separation in international law has been maintained to this day. Neither Jordan’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 1950, nor Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, nor the Israeli law, passed in 1980, claiming that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, has been accepted by the United Nations. In fact, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared the 1980 Israeli law “null and void”. In other words, the status of Jerusalem is not in Israel’s or America’s gift. It can only be changed by internationally recognised agreement.