Trump Announces US Will Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The declaration is expected to spark violence in the region.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that the United States officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that breaks longstanding US foreign policy and is expected to provoke widespread protests in the Middle East. The declaration, he said in a press conference from the White House, “marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said.

The president also said that he has given orders for officials to start planning the process to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ahead of the expected announcement, Arab leaders and other heads of state had cautioned against the controversial declaration, warning that the move could destroy any chances of brokering a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been seen as a close ally of Trump’s, described the issue on Tuesday as a “red line” for Muslims around the world.

Responding to international concern over Trump’s intentions, administration officials earlier this week characterized the impending declaration as a “recognition of reality.” 

“It’s not an impediment to peace and it’s not a facilitator to peace,” a senior administration official told CNN. “After having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgment of reality seems like an important thing.”

Trump on Wednesday echoed those remarks, calling the decision “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.” He added, “It is also the right thing to do. It has to be done.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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