Trump and Jerusalem: International newspapers react ahead of speech
By: Jehad El-Sayed
Wed, Dec. 6, 2017
CAIRO – 6 December 2017: International newspaper on Wednesday had mixed reactions to Donald Trump’s expected decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announce that he is moving the American Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
By upending nearly seven decades of American foreign policy, the U.S. president is “potentially destroying his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” The New York Times reported.
Trump’s decision was described in the American newspaper as a high-risk foray into the thicket of the Middle East, driven not by diplomatic calculations but by a campaign promise.
Under the title, “Don’t move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported that even if Trump was a brilliant negotiator, unilaterally altering U.S. policy regarding Jerusalem to accord with the Israeli position would unnecessarily antagonize a billion Muslims and undercut the United States’ ability to broker a future peace deal.
“It is also exceptionally unwise to risk another conflagration in the Middle East when it is already engulfed in a bloody conflict and instability from Syria to Yemen and tensions are rising between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” stated the San Francisco Chronicle.
Trump’s decision was also met by criticism in most of the British press. “America will be the first country in the world to disrupt the delicate stalemate by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel alone,” the British newspaper iNews stated.
“There is no logical answer to why Trump has done this. His stance may be that he is thriving on the publicity. There is no need to do this from any aspect of political thinking, it makes very little sense,” Yossi Mekelberg, professor of International Relations at Regent's University London told iNews.
“Of all the issues at the heart of the enduring conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, none is as sensitive as the status of Jerusalem. Donald Trump’s approach to it threatens to smash a long-standing international consensus in a disruptive and dangerous way,” British newspaper The Guardian stated.
Canadian and Chinese national newspapers went to describe Trump’s intentions as “catastrophic” raising questions about the White House’s ultimate strategy and intentions.