4

During his campaign Trump vowed for this move to take place.

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement.

The Trump administration has begun deliberating whether to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Why would Palestinians deem this proposition offensive?

Note: This seems to have already started

Angry Palestinians used Donald Trump’s inauguration day for more protests against his idea of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

with protests on Inauguration day.

  • @Philipp I've changed the question to be less opinion based. – Bradley Wilson Jan 24 '17 at 9:46
9

When Israel was formed in 1947, it was given certain boundaries. While the Israelis had access to Jerusalem, it was supposed to be a shared area with the Palestinians. It was not supposed to be clearly part of one side or the other, as it is historically important to both Jews and Muslims.

In 1948, the Arabs and the Israelis engaged in a war which ended up with Israel claiming about 60% of the territory that the 1947 compromise gave to the Palestinians. Jordan and Egypt claimed the rest of the Palestinian territory.

In 1967, Israel engaged in war with three of its neighbors: Syria; Jordan; Egypt. At the end of the war, Israel had added four regions to its territory: the Golan Heights; the West Bank; the Gaza Strip; and the Sinai Peninsula. Israel later returned the Sinai to Egypt but has kept the other three. With the West Bank added, Jerusalem is clearly inside Israeli claimed territory.

Many Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere have rejected the very concept of Israel. From their perspective, Britain helped the Jews steal Israel from its Palestinian owners. (From Israel's perspective, it was their land first.)

Obviously if Israel is not valid, then Jerusalem is not part of Israel. But we can go further. If the original, 1947 plan was valid, then Jerusalem is still not part of Israel. That compromise made it no man's land that everyone could access but no one would own. Yet Israel now claims ownership of Jerusalem, and Donald Trump is proposing to recognize that ownership. From the Palestinian perspective, they are losing the small protections of the 1947 compromise. And they already regarded that compromise as unfair to them.

From the Israeli perspective, there's no point in them respecting the limits of the 1947 compromise if the Palestinians don't. So they want Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel as it once was. Moving the embassy is an important symbol in recognizing that.

Fundamentally opposed and conflicting perspectives leads to controversy.

  • I think you should just come out and say that the move would tend to solidify the borders and outcomes of the 1967 war as final. – K Dog Jan 24 '17 at 16:59
  • I would add that it is the strongest possible endorsement of Israel's current policies and direction. A president who was unsure of those policies would not make such a controversial move. So, the Palestinians can interpret this as the USA abandoning any effort to negotiate on their behalf in peace talks. – jalynn2 Jan 24 '17 at 18:25
3

It's a controversial move and most likely to lead to more bloodshed and instability in the region, and will put the security of both Israel and the US (as its biggest ally) in jeopardy.

For example from this article:

Any decision to break with the status quo on the embassy issue is likely to prompt protests from US allies in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Washington relies on those countries for help in fighting Islamic State, which the new president has said is a priority.

See Wikipedia for bit more info on politics of Jerusalem.

The move would be obviously seen as something positive by Israeli right hardliners (see this) and the pro-settlement government that is moving further and further away from a two state solution, which resulted in US administration for the first time in years having to resort to action instead of mere words, at the UN just recently.

Jerusalem is a historically and politically and religiously significant city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and this action would have serious ramifications not only in terms of Israel/Palestinian conflict but also US relations around the world and allies who are working with US in various fronts. Still, Palestinians will be the main ones reacting to American-led action that ignores their side, and so already the Palestinians have reacted to this potential, for instance here.

  • 2
    You note that Jerusalem is controversial. Can you explain why? – rougon Jan 24 '17 at 12:28
  • +1: definitely controversial when the situation is looked at obejctively. – Mozibur Ullah Jan 24 '17 at 14:23
  • @rougon: see east jerusalem whichdescribes the history of this 'controvery' – Mozibur Ullah Jan 24 '17 at 14:26
  • @MoziburUllah I am aware of the controversy -- I was just hoping the poster would put it in their answer instead of just referencing that there was a controversy. – rougon Jan 24 '17 at 17:28

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