A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Jerusalem Decision

President Trump has said that recognizing Jerusalem a the capital of Israel will advance the peace process. Using the same logic, the fires now threatening Los Angeles might best be fought by dropping gasoline on them instead of water, in order to advance the firefighting process.
While the issue of Jerusalem is largely symbolic, Jerusalem is a powerful symbol.

And the symbol was bizarrely timed. Why now? What possible benefit can be gained that outweighs the damage done by the US acting unilaterally? Despite claims to the contrary, the move gives the impression that the most difficult of the 'final status' issues has been settled, by awarding it to Israel.

This may pass, but I cannot see how it "advances the peace process."

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