Trump and Jerusalem

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Don­ald Trump can have been in no doubt that the re­ac­tion to his de­ci­sion for­mally to recog­nise Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal would be fiery. Anger in the Arab world has been mount­ing.

If Pales­tini­ans find Mr Trump’s pro­nounce­ment shock­ing and dis­tress­ing, for the Is­raeli right it is a dream come true.

The pres­i­dent pro­fesses con­tin­ued sup­port for a twostate so­lu­tion. And the fi­nal bound­aries of the city will, he says, ul­ti­mately be de­ter­mined as part of a fu­ture agree­ment. Yet there is plainly a sub­stan­tive dif­fer­ence be­tween work­ing out bound­aries and de­ter­min­ing the city’s sta­tus within the pa­ram­e­ters of a broader set­tle­ment.

For Mr Trump to ar­gue that he is merely ac­knowl­edg­ing ‘‘his­tor­i­cal and cur­rent re­al­ity’’ is an out­ra­geous sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the world’s thorni­est ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute.

What he is do­ing, at a stroke, is telling the Pales­tini­ans that Amer­ica is firmly on one side of the ar­gu­ment. If the Pres­i­dent does not un­der­stand this he is shock­ingly ill-in­formed.

If he does un­der­stand and is pro­ceed­ing ir­re­spec­tive of the con­se­quences, then he is some­thing rather worse. Ei­ther way, this is an ill-judged and highly dan­ger­ous turn of events.

‘‘Kiss of death’’ sounds about right.

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