On Tuesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the latest world leader to emphasize to Trump that if he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it would essentially create a “red line” for Muslims.
According to Fox News, Erdogan said in a speech to Parliament that if Trump were to carry out his plan, it would force Turkey to cut off all diplomatic ties with Israel. Erdogan went further in pledging to encourage other Muslim countries to oppose the move to make Jerusalem Israel’s capital.
Both Muslim and Jewish leadership believes that Jerusalem is their rightful capital. The area of Jerusalem in contention surrounds East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in 1967 after Arab nations launched an all-out attack against the state, home to a large number of Muslims.
Turkey is among a growing number of countries around the world to voice opposition to the political move of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Some of those countries say it will pollute the possibility of peace between Israel and Palestine, while others suggest that it will be simply a huge slap in the face to the Muslim world.
Palestinian leadership has threatened the United States that they will “stop contacts” with it and will encourage mass protests if the recognition goes through. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation said Monday that it would be “naked aggression” against the Muslim and Arab world.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to President Trump in a phone conversation about the move. He said that he was concerned about the move and asked him to reconsider.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the reason why Jerusalem has not been recognized as Israel’s capital is because of the effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The eighty-seven countries who maintain embassies in Israel have placed them all in Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem.
During the 2016 election, Trump made a campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but has yet to fulfill his campaign promise. Officials say he could act as early as Wednesday.
The American interest to relocate the capital to Jerusalem has been in the forefront of Americans’ minds since 1995, when Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act. That legislation mandated that the embassy be relocated to Jerusalem, unless the president signs a waiver every six months.
Experts say that Trump will sign the waiver, releasing him from his obligation to move the embassy. But to appease supporters of the embassy relocation, he instead plans to announce the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
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