Jerusalem Embassy Controversy


Alexander Yagoda, Staff Writer

If the current U.S. administration is a hotly debated issue, then Israel is on fire. Since its creation, Israel has been the topic of much of the Middle Eastern controversy going on now. This has much to do with the majority of Muslim nations around it trying to eradicate the majority of Jewish states and return it to a Palestinian state. Since then, Palestine and Jordan have been constantly warring with Israel over several specific territories that were not granted to Israel in the 1947 UN partition plan, the most famous being the West Bank. There lies Jerusalem, the city to which both Israel and Palestine claim as capital cities. Then, in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump stated intentions to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv, which Israel’s second most important city and where other countries have their embassies, to Jerusalem. Since half of the city belongs to Palestine, this decision indirectly backs Israel’s Jerusalem Law, effectively annexing Palestine from their historic city, which also holds great significance to the Muslim religion, as one of the mosques on the east of Israel is the third-holiest Muslim site. Needless to say, this decision has greatly angered all of Palestine and many others. As can be seen from the many violent protests held in Palestine and Israel and the launching of several missiles towards Israel from Palestine, it is very clear that Palestinians are furious that their annexed historic homeland is having its annexors being supported and their cause legitimized by one of the world’s most powerful nations. This legitimization is, without a doubt, an awful idea.

Benjamin Netenyahu and EU Foreign Minister meet

“Just from what everyone else is saying around the world, you can tell most people don’t like the decision [to move the embassy],” sophomore Jonathan Mesa said.

To begin, this decision was a bad one because of the responses it evoked from the international community. Starting with the international community’s response to Trump’s announcement, the response has been overwhelmingly negative. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netenyahu, has spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Union’s foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, both of whom expressed deep dislike for the decision, and prompting Mogherini to publicly denounce the plan and the jurisdiction of Israel over the entirety of Jerusalem. In addition, Russia has repeatedly reaffirmed their position, which is that they support what was originally proposed, and then later enacted by the United Nations, that there be a state of Israel, and one of Palestine, with Israel’s capital being west Jerusalem, and Palestine’s capital being East Jerusalem. This has been completely ignored by Israel, who has lain claim to the entirety of Jerusalem.

Getty Images
Protesters in Palestine burn photos of President Trump for his decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Moving on to the nature of Israel and why it is a bad idea to support it in its efforts to lay claim to all of Jerusalem, would be to grant them permission to take control of the remainder of Palestine, which they clearly want to do, only being reigned in by the wills of the nations funding them, which would create quite the interesting paradox. Israel has a population of about 8 million people, 6 million of which are Jewish. Palestine has a population of about 5 million, of which a negligible amount are Jewish. Israel was created to always be a majority-Jewish and democratic state, with those ideals of majority-Judaism and democracy being the most important aspects of the state’s existence. However, in the case of Palestine, Israel can only pick one. If Israel were to annex Palestine, it would become a majority Arabic state, and as the will of the majority prevails in a democracy, the Arabs would not only outnumber the Jews by more than a million people, but one of the first actions of the majority-Arabic nation would be to dissolve Israel and reassemble it as Palestine. This scenario gives up Judaism. On the other hand, if Israel were to annex Palestine and then keep the Palestinians in a sub-citizen class to allow a technical Jewish majority among Israel’s citizens, their second value of democracy would be violated, as five million people’s rights would be suppressed. There is no possible positive outcome for both Israel and Palestine that doesn’t include a dual-occupation of the lands and Jerusalem, almost as if what the United Nations originally proposed was a smart idea.

While some say that the decision was justified in that it would bring peace and stability to Israel and its surrounding areas, the exact opposite would occur because of the Palestinian’s distaste for the Jewish community as a whole, which is embodied in the state of Israel, which would likely lead to violent and bloody rebellions. On a related note, some also might say that Israel is unjustified in the forced relocation of Palestinians from their homes, and therefore should not be backed in such a way by the United States, and while this backing from the United States was not a good move, Israel’s relocation of Palestinians is, in that they are protecting them from the bombing and missile attacks from the Palestinian army against the Israelis (It should be noted that multiple Palestinians have died in rocket attacks against Israel form Palestine in the past).

To conclude, the decision made by President Trump to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was an silly move because it caused great outcry from the international community and Israel’s neighbors.

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