As has been expected, President Trump on Wednesday gave a speech affirming that he is formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Trump cited the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which called for such a recognition, but which all other presidents deferred.
Despite a flurry of warnings over the last 48 hours that such a move effectively kills the peace process and threatens destabilizing the region, President Trump argued his move was done for the sake of the peace talks. He implied a correlation between the lack of progress on peace talks and the lack of recognition for Jerusalem.
The problem, of course, is that “Jerusalem” includes a large amount of militarily occupied territory, including parts which are envisioned as part of a future Palestinian state. Israel sees the recognition as an endorsement of their permanent occupation.
Beyond his defense of the move as somehow pro-peace, President Trump appeared to defer the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, even longer than the six months which was previously reported in the media. Trump instead promised a “magnificent embassy” to be put in Jerusalem, and reports suggest that the construction could take years.
This makes the move the worst of both worlds, making an on-paper move that’s going to cause a massive backlash, and the embassy move is far down the road at any rate.