President Trump pivoted from decades of U.S.-Israel foreign policy precedent on Wednesday when he announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and eventually move the embassy from Tel Aviv.
"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said. "While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering."
Trump brought forth an impactful new era Mideast policy with the announcement, and the commander in chief's remarks immediately sparked a wave of backlash throughout the Mideast and Europe among Muslim and secular world leaders alike. This backlash came as some White House advisers are reportedly questioning the president's understanding of what a new position on Jerusalem means in global context.
According to a new Washington Post report, White House advisers and Trump insiders believe the decision dismissed the pressing need for an Israel-Palestine peace deal and was instead rooted in the president's desire to please donors and make good on campaign promises.
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"The decision wasn’t driven by the peace process," a senior official reportedly told the Washington Post. "The decision was driven by his campaign promise."
National security adviser H.R. McMaster was reportedly forced to put together options on paths forward for the administration 10 days ago when Trump made clear he would not be signing a second waiver to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.
The foreign policy maneuver certainly makes good on Trump’s campaign promise, and the president has in his first year proved himself to be a leader devoted to his voters. Still, though, the move comes as a global community spoke gravely of what the policy position would mean for Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Through a spokesman, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the United States was "plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight."
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British Prime Minister Theresa May said the move was "unhelpful" in the context of working toward a two-state solution.
The Arab League had warned that any U.S. recognition of Jerusalem would be considered a direct attack on the Arab nation, and an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers is now scheduled to be held on Saturday.
"It’s insane. We’re all resistant,” another Trump confidant reportedly told the Post. "He doesn’t realize what all he could trigger by doing this."
The new report also reveals that several advisers believe Trump appeared focused on "seeming pro-Israel," and "making a deal" as opposed to weighing the overall pros and cons of the decision.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's decision as a "historic landmark," saying the 45th U.S. president has "bound himself forever" to the history of Jerusalem with the decision.