The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the current context, is a unilateral step undermining the chances for peace. The US has given up on its position as an honest broker that can help Israel and the Palestinian achieve peace, and Israel has lost the best ally it could have for that role. Jerusalem is no more “united” after the recognition and its status is as disputed as ever.
The only way to make Jerusalem universally recognized as the legitimate capital of Israel is through a two states agreement in which the Palestinians establish their own capital (Al-Quds) in east Jerusalem side by side with Israel’s Yerushalayim in west Jerusalem.
Questions that should be asked about Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem
1. What does Israel need: someone to tell us that we are right? or someone who can help us achieve peace?
The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the current context puts an end to the ability of the US to lead any kind of political process between Israel and the Palestinians and it can no longer serve as an honest broker. This is a great loss for Israel.
2. Will Jerusalem be more recognized as the capital of Israel?
No. The flow of condemnations from all around the world is proving that Trump’s declaration is only encouraging other countries to stress that Jerusalem is still under dispute.
3. Will Jerusalem be more “united”?
No. Jerusalem is divided today more than at any point in the past. Israelis almost never venture into Palestinian neighborhoods, and Palestinians are reluctant to frequent west Jerusalem. Moving the American embassy does not change that.
4. Does the move contributes to the stability of the region?
Not at all. The US declaration is sending a message to the Arab and Muslim world that Al-Quds has been lost to the Arabs and Islam and that there is no political horizon for a better future. The anger that may result could affect the stability of Israel’s neighboring countries, and might be used as a perfect cause (the threat to Al-Quds) for Islamic terror organizations.