Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital fulfills campaign promise broken by predecessors

December 7, 2017

With Vice Pence Mike Pence looking on, U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order after he announced the U.S. would Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In a dramatic shift from his predecessors, President Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient, divided city.

The move fulfills a campaign promise to religious conservatives, a pledge that other presidents broke routinely. But Mr. Trump’s decision also could inflame tensions across the Middle East because Palestinians want to establish their capital in east Jerusalem.

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Mr. Trump said in an 11-minute speech at the White House. “It also is the right thing to do.”

Israelis and conservatives in the U.S. praised the move, while Arab leaders, European allies and some congressional Democrats warned it could lead to violence and undermine the prospects for restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas said Mr. Trump had “opened the gates of hell,” and other Palestinian factions called for “three days of rage” in protest.

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