While most of the focus of the “day of rage” protests against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel focused on massive demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they were by no means the only ones, as Trump’s move reverberated around the world.
In addition to the Palestinian protests and the official criticisms at the UN Security Council, demonstrators were out in force across virtually the entire Muslim world, with hundreds and even thousands of people showing up in front of US embassies and consulates to voice their displeasure.
From Algeria to Indonesia, and virtually all points in between, protesters marched, condemning Trump’s decision, which has potentially large implications given the importance of Jerusalem within Islam.
While Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley have defended the move, other US officials have tried to downplay it, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted the declaration had nothing to do with Jerusalem’s final status, and that this was to be decided between Israelis and Palestinians in their own negotiations.
The presumptive impact of a US declaration on the final status was, indeed, why previous presidents from the initially Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 had consistently delayed relocating the embassy. Even outside the Muslim world, the unilateral decision to reverse course has been roundly criticized as undermining efforts at getting the peace process restarted.