Red Lines and Severed Ties

Trump's Looming Jerusalem Embassy Decision Sparks Diplomatic Fallout

And it's growing by the minute

A general view shows the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem's Old City December 4, 2017.
RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS

Middle Eastern regional stability may hang in the balance as the Trump administration is expected to make a decision this week to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, or to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinians: Recognition will put an end to contact with U.S.

An aide of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas commented Tuesday that if the Trump Administration decides to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Palestinian leadership would sever ties with the U.S. administration. Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, had especially harsh words for, saying "the mother of all the deals dies here on the rocks in Jerusalem if he says tomorrow that he recognizes a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." On Saturday, Hamas leaders called for a popular uprising to thwart the ongoing "conspiracy."

Turkey: Jerusalem is 'red line' for Muslims

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that if Trump goes ahead with the decision, Turkey will cut diplomatic ties with Israel. He added that Jerusalem is 'a red line for Muslims." Israel responded that "Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years."

Jordan: Decision raises 'alarm and concern'

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned of the consequences of the decision on Friday, saying that it "raised alarm and concern" and could "hamper all efforts to get the peace process moving."

Saudi Arabia: Move is a provocation for all Muslims

According to the Sunni giant's news agency, an official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that Trump's potential recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would have "very serious implications" and would be seen as "provocative to all Muslims' feelings." 

Arab League chief: Change in Jerusalem's status 'dangerous measure'

Ahmed Abdoul Gheit commented on Tuesday saying that any step changing Jerusalem's status quo would be a "dangerous measure that would have repercussions" throughout the Middle East. He encouraged Trump to reconsider his decision.

European Union: Action would undermine two-state solution

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday that any action would undermine a two-state solution, and must be avoided. She added that Jerusalem must become a joint capital for both Israel and the Palestinians.

France: Macron worried after call with Trump

After a call with Trump on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern that the U.S. president "would unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital." He stated that the Jerusalem issue must be dealt with "in the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians."

Germany: There's a limit to our solidarity with U.S.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday that a solution regarding Jerusalem's status "can only be found through direct negotiations between the two parties," adding that "anything that escalated the crisis during these times is counterproductive." He further took a stab at Trump, saying that "there is a limit in our solidarity" regarding U.S.-German relations in light of the decision.

Former Israeli ambassadors to U.S. urge Trump to reconsider

A group of former Israeli ambassadors to the U.S. wrote a letter to Trump's Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, imploring him to reconsider the announcement, noting that "the status of Jerusalem, the city that houses the holy sites of the three monotheistic religions lies at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," and as such "must be determined with the context of resolving that conflict."