Recently, President Donald Trump has made known his plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is a controversial move, as Jerusalem has been widely regarded as a sort of international city that Israel cannot claim for itself.
Starting in 1967 during the “Six Day War,” Israel has taken control of Jerusalem and declared it their capital city in 1980. Now, both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital city, one of the primary points of conflict between the two. With this latest move, the countries that recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital are: the United States, the Czech Republic and Vanautu — the rest of the world does not.
A law was actually passed in the 90s called the “Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995” that requires the embassy be moved, but it was left unenforced by presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.
While the physical moving of the embassy is simply logistical, the source of the controversy is that it symbolizes the U.S. government’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since this move by President Trump, the U.N. has held an emergency meeting, declaring Trump’s claim as “null and void” with 128 votes in favor, nine against, and 35 countries abstaining. The nine who voted against are US, Israel, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Guatemala, Nauru, Togo, Micronesia and Palau. The text of the U.N.’s non-binding resolution says that,
…any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
U.N. ambassador for the U.S. Nikki Haley said that President Trump takes these criticisms personally and that the U.S. will be “taking names” in regards to the vote and any future action the U.N. might take against the U.S. government’s decision. Also in response, the Israeli Prime Minister called the U.N. a “house of lies.”
President Trump recently had a message “for all of those nations who take our money and then vote against us.” He said that we ought to “let ’em vote against us, we’ll save a lot.” It came as a threat to potentially cut hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in financial support that the U.S. offers these countries.
See what President Trump had to say about it here:
See Nikki Haley’s comments here:
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.