Donald Trump has released a statement affirming that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and announcing plans to relocate the USA’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
This has caused a huge amount of controversy and protesting internationally.Why is this an important international news story?The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a long running dispute over land in the levantine region branching all the way from the end of World War 2 to the current day. Palestine was partitioned by the UN into arab and jewish states in 1947, with Jerusalem and the surrounding areas becoming an internationally managed territory that was neither part of the planned jewish or arab state.
Israel however ended up occupying jerusalem after a war with Palestine. Jerusalem has a large arab population, and as a consequence of the US president declaring that Jerusalem, the city illegally occupied by Israel, is the capital of israel sparked outrage among Jerusalem’s arab population and the muslim populations of other countries, resulting in many protests.What are the implications?The statement lends legitimacy to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and critically endangers the the process of establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. This is a setback for peace in the area in general and is sure to cause Palestinian distrust of the USA in the future.
Where is this happening?Most of the protests in Palestine and Israel were quite small, however huge protests numbering in the thousands happened worldwide, mostly in muslim majority countries.When did this event/trend/process really begin?Jerusalem and Palestine in general has been the centre of a fierce dispute since the late 1940s, resulting in several wars. Donald Trump’s statement was released on wednesday the 6th of december 2017. Most protests happened a couple of days after the announcement.Who is involved and who is implicated?The statement was released by President of the United States Donald Trump, And as it refers to Jerusalem, It strongly implicates the leaders of both Israel and Palestine, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, respectively.
Several other world leaders have made comments regarding the event, including:The president of Egypt, Abdel FattahThe president of Turkey, ErdoganKing Abdullah of jordanAyatollah Khamenei, supreme leader of IranAnd the Pope.How did this become more than a local issue?Politics in the middle east are heavily entangled, especially regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, with neighbouring countries being heavily involved in the dispute. Any declaration regarding the situation, especially coming from a country as powerful as the USA will garner strong reactions in the middle eastern area, making the statement bound to cause an international reaction.