Yet again Trump makes it to the headlines after recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This time his speech has shaken up the entire world, to be specific the Middle East and Palestine. As expected, considering he missed 2 deadlines to sign the Jerusalem Embassy Act waiver deferring it, on Wednesday he finally recognised Jerusalem as Israel ’s capital. This has led to a massive backlash from all over the world and has also exposed the region vulnerable to violence and uprising. While the whole World is speculating what is the next big thing, some of us are still wondering what the deal with Jerusalem is.
Here’s explaining why the whole world will be affected by this recognition and who are the winners or losers in this historic war.
1. Firstly, why is Jerusalem so controversial?
U.S. Embassy is currently in Tel Aviv but Israel claims Jerusalem to be the ideal capital as it’s the most civic space of the country. However, the controversy surrounding Jerusalem is mainly for 2 reasons, faith and territory. Faith because the holy city has 3 shrines dedicated to Jews, Muslims and Christians. So ironically, the three holy sites that should actually be inducing peace is actually the reason for a very gory war continuing since years in the region.
The territorial controversy dates back to the time when the region belonged to the British colony. After World War 2 and because of the atrocities faced by the Jews, it was decided that for their own safety it was best to give them a separate nation. Therefore, the British-Palestine region was divided into two separate regions; Israel for the Jews and Palestine for the Arabs, dividing Jerusalem as west and east respectively. But after winning the war of 1967, against Arabs, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and started governing the region. These factors make Jerusalem controversial because Palestine claimed the region as its own too.
2. What was the U.S. stance until now and why is Trump doing this now?
In the year 1995, when Bill Clinton was the President, Congress passed Jerusalem Embassy Act that recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but the International forces restricted the implementation of the Act. Since then every U.S. President signs a waiver every 6 months deferring the implementation to the next President until Obama.
Trump, however, during his campaigns, promised that he would implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act and he did. Apart from honoring his promise, Trump’s motive also could be looking at a bigger game in the long run. How? We remember Trump reversing Obama’s Iran deal, which was a big step in peace convoy to improve relationships with Iran after years. This recognition could mean that Trump is playing an alliance game with U.S-Israel against Iran, a common enemy.
3. Why are Israelis and Palestinians horrified?
The Jerusalem region has always witnessed tension between Palestinians and Jews and these tensions rising to violence. With this recognition, a violent uproar is not very difficult to predict and that is scary for the civilians. Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) has very openly warned the world in an open statement that Trump has destroyed all the probable chances of any peace between the two forces. The region is exposed to a third Intifada, an Arab word for uprising, considering the violence in the past. Hamas, an Islamic group, has already warned of another Intifada.
The First Intifada was a violent protest against the Israeli government by Palestine under Hamas’ leadership which left hundreds of deaths on both the sides. The Second Intifada was far worse that the first one and this time the numbers increased to thousands. The declaration has increased the risk of a third Intifada and that is horrifying.
4. Is it Yay or Nay for the World?
The region is already witnessing violent clashes between the Israeli and Palestinian forces. There were incidents of burning tires and firing of toxic tear gases so peace has gone for a toss. On the other hand, the Islamic world is outrageous.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of ‘dangerous consequences’. The Jordan and Saudi King have advised U.S. to take precautions and Turkey has threatened to cut all ties with Israel. When everything is going wrong in the plain sight it’s very difficult to predict at this moment about its positive outcomes but it is definitely good news for the Israeli government.