On December 6th, President Trump announced the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would move the US Embassy there. His language was carefully worded not to predetermine borders or claims on the holy sites. He left those elements to final status negotiations.
The condemnation with this announcement seemed to be strongest from the European nations and Democrats, outside of the normal anti-Israel rhetoric the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (“OIC”) spews. Within days the OIC (drafted by Egypt) submitted a UN Security Council Resolution condemning the US’s announcement, which was obviously vetoed by the US. Right before Christmas an emergency UN General Assembly was called to condemn the US. Again this vote was driven by members of the OIC (Turkey & Yemen).
Considering the historical bias against Israel in the UN, see UN Watch Proportionality Summary, I believe the recognition of Jerusalem is the first of many kinks in the OIC chain. Their actions in the UN have had little affect on Israel, and we will start to see more countries follow the US’ lead in moving diplomatic relations to Jerusalem. I also feel as Muslim Extremism continues in Europe and renewal energy replaces fossil fuels, much of Europe will also change their tune. Lastly, I think with Iran’s expansion of influence, the Arab bloc is not so solidly against Israel.
The Palestinian Authority old guard is dying. Their martyrs have brought worse conditions in the Palestinian territories. Hamas is not a desired alternative, just ask residents of Gaza who look back on pre-Oslo days with fondness.
Only time will tell if the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a brilliant move or if the status quo steadfastly remains.
I hope for progress in 2018 – Happy Holidays!