The announcement by US President Donald Trump that Jerusalem will be recognized as the capital of Israel is merely giving effect to a law passed by the Bill Clinton administration—and is sure to incite Muslims across the world even further against America as it becomes obvious that that country’s government remains firmly under the Jewish lobby’s control.
The US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital dates to 1995 when Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which declared, as a statement of policy, that “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” The law allowed the president to signing a waiver on implementation that law every six months—and Trump is the first president to stop signing the waiver.
Nonetheless, Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem is not recognised by the international community.
Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Jerusalem was granted special status and was meant to be placed under international sovereignty and control. The special status was based on Jerusalem’s religious importance to the three Abrahamic religions.
In the 1948 war, the Jews seized the western half of the city and declared the territory part of its state.
Then, during the 1967 war, the Jewish state captured the eastern half of Jerusalem, which was under Jordanian control at the time. The region was effectively annexed by extending Israeli law, bringing it directly under its jurisdiction—in clear violation of international law.
In 1980, Israel passed the “Jerusalem Law”, stating that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, thereby formalising its annexation of East Jerusalem.
In response, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 478 in 1980, declaring the law “null and void”. Significantly, the US abstained in that vote—the only nation to do so, while every other Security Council member state voted in favor of it (Bangladesh, China, France, German Democratic Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Niger, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Tunisia, USSR, United Kingdom, and Zambia).
The international community therefore officially regards East Jerusalem as occupied territory. Even Russia, which in April 2017 recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, specifically stated that “East Jerusalem [is] the capital of the future Palestinian state.”
The illegal Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem violates several principles under international law, which outlines that an occupying power does not have sovereignty in the territory it occupies.
As pointed out by Aljazeera, despite Israel’s de-facto annexation of East Jerusalem, Palestinians who live there were not granted Israeli citizenship—which they would have been had the annexation been done in good faith.
Today, some 420,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem have “permanent residency” ID cards. They also carry temporary Jordanian passports without a national identification number. This means that they are not full Jordanian citizens—they need a work permit to work in Jordan and do not have access to governmental services and benefits such as reduced education fees.
Palestinian Jerusalemites are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo—they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine, Aljazeera pointed out.
Israel treats Palestinians in East Jerusalem as foreign immigrants who live there as a favor granted to them by the state and not by right, despite having been born there. They are required to fulfil a certain set of requirements to maintain their residency status and live in constant fear of having their residency revoked.
Any Palestinian who has lived outside the boundaries of Jerusalem for a certain period of time, whether in a foreign country or even in the West Bank, is at risk of losing their right to live there.
Those who cannot prove that the “centre of their life” is in Jerusalem and that they have lived there continuously, lose their right to live in their city of birth. They must submit dozens of documents including title deeds, rent contracts and salary slips. Obtaining citizenship from another country also leads to the revocation of their status.
Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of 14,000 Palestinians from the area.
In the meantime, any Jew around the world enjoys the right to live in Israel and to obtain Israeli citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return.
Furthermore, since 1967, Israel has built more than a dozen housing complexes for Jewish Israelis, known as settlements, some in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.
About 200,000 Jews live in these settlements in East Jerusalem under army and police protection, with the largest single settlement complex housing 44,000 Israelis.
It is clear, by any measure, that declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel will inevitably provoke the entire Muslim world against America.
The government of Turkey has already called a summit of the main pan-Islamic body in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the US move.
“In the face of developments that arouse sensitivity over the status of Jerusalem, Mr President is calling a leaders’ summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to display joint action among Islamic countries,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in Ankara.
Kalin warned that “Jerusalem is our honour, Jerusalem is our common cause, Jerusalem is our red line,” he added, urging the Trump administration to “return from this grave mistake immediately.”
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the expected US move risked igniting a “fire” in the Middle East and will prove a “great disaster”.
The recognition will “throw the region and the world into a fire and it’s not known when it will end”, Bozdag, also government spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
Bozdag said such a step which showed “great intolerance and mindlessness” would “destroy the peace process”.
The whole world can therefore look to a renewed outburst of Muslim anger, and, as usual, it will be the ordinary Gentiles of the West who will bear the brunt of this anger.