After President Trump’s historic announcement that the US will be moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, effectively recognizing it as the nation state’s capital, condemnation has been wide-spread. Not only have national leaders stated that the President’s actions will destabilize any possibility of a peace process, but radicals have called on their followers to engage in “days of rage.”
The latest organization to do condemn Trump’s Jerusalem proclamation is the United Nations. Their reaction is neither surprising nor unexpected, but it does beg a larger question of anti-Israel rhetoric and legislation being the UN’s default mode.
When President Trump first announced his decision, he said:
“This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and work towards a lasting agreement. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It’s also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
The reality is that this was nothing more nor less than what has been promised by U.S. Presidents for the last 20 years. In June this year, the U.S. Senate voted 90 to 0 to implement the decision; showing that this is not just a “Trump-decision,” but one that is being called for by the United States’ elected representatives.
I fulfilled my campaign promise – others didn’t! pic.twitter.com/bYdaOHmPVJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2017
A meeting of the UN Security Council was called by eight of the fifteen members to come up with a statement that would distance themselves from the decision. The UN ambassadors of Britain, France, Sweden, Germany, and Italy released a joint statement saying that President Trump’s action was “not in line with Security Council resolutions and was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”
The UN has passed more resultions against Israel than any other country.
This is precisely the point. For decades, the possibility of peace between Israel and Palestine has been used as an excuse to maintain the status quo. This has led to attacks and violence on both sides, but there has been no significant progress. Any actions taken that may change what is happening have always been condemned by one group or another. Perhaps the time has come to try a new approach.
We need only look at what little progress has been made in the last 20 years to know that the methods in place are not effective. Israel and Palestine can look forward to nothing, but more of the same unless there is a shift in balance. President Trump may not have made the right move with regard to Jerusalem, but at least he has made a move. A move promised by past Presidents and supported nearly unanimously by Congress.
Other world leaders and organizations have achieved nothing, but instability and tensions. This long promised move on Jerusalem will be the beginning of a new relationship; one in which there is a prospect of resolution.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.