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Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital But Won't Immediately Move Embassy from Tel Aviv, Says Final Borders Up to Israel, Palestinians

By Haaretz & Reuters
U.S. would support two-state solution if agreed upon by both sides, Trump says ¦ Netanyahu welcomes announcement: There's no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as Israeli capital Noa Landau, Amir Tibon and Reuters Dec 06, 2017 8:45 PM 0comments
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U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem on December 6, 2017 as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on.
U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem on December 6, 2017 as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on. KEVIN LAMARQUE/ Reuters

U.K.'s May rebukes Trump decision, says Jerusalem should be 'shared capital' Netanyahu on Trump's Jerusalem declaration: Our national, historical identity being recognized today Jerusalem for dummies: Why the world doesn't recognize it as Israel's capital

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that "it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," calling the move "a long overdue step to advance the peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians.

>> Why the world doesn't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital ¦ Trump set to recognize Jerusalem - but don't panic just yet | Analysis ¦ Trump, don't do us any favors on Jerusalem | Analysis

He said recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is not only a "necessary condition for achieving peace," but also "in the best interests of the United States of America." U.S. President Trump officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Trump also said that the U.S. would support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if agreed upon by both sides.

"We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved," Trump said. Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
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Following his speech, Trump signed the presidential waiver to delay moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Shortly after Trump's speech, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the U.S. president's announcement, saying, "The President's decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

"I share President Trump's commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians. And we will continue to work with the President and his team to make that dream of peace come true," Netanyahu said, adding:

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. MANDEL NGAN/AFP

"I call on all countries that seek peace to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move their embassies here."

Washington's official recognition signals a significant shift in American foreign policy and is expected provoke ire among Palestinians and alienate the Arab and Muslim world.

Shortly before Trump's speech, the U.S. State Department issued a cable to all its diplomatic posts worldwide on Wednesday asking its officials to defer non-essential travel to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank until December 20, according to a copy of the cable seen by Reuters.

"Embassy Tel Aviv and Consulate General Jerusalem request that all non-essential visitors defer their travel to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank from December 4-December 20, 2017," said the cable, which did not specify a reason for the request.

Both Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed concern over the decision when they spoke with Trump on the phone on Tuesday. Abbas warned that Trump's action will have "dangerous consequences" and urged the Pope and the leaders of Russia, France and Jordan to intervene.

Abdullah told Trump that the decision would have repercussions on security and stability within the Middle East.

According to three senior administration officials, in his speech on Wednesday the president will explicitly express support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the first time.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel's "historical and national identity is receiving important expressions every day, but especially today." The prime minister was speaking in a Facebook video ahead of Trump's announcement, but avoided any mention of the expected recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

On Tuesday, Palestinian factions in the West Bank announced that they would carry out three days of protests across the West Bank over Trump's expected decision.





Trump is first US president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He ordered State to build new US embassy in Jerusalem Dec 6, 2017 @ 21:02 Donald Trump, Israel, Jerusalem, Palestinians, US embassy debka

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, President Donald Trump made history by announcing that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The city is not just the heart of three great faiths but also of one of the most successful democracies in the world, he said, a society where people are free to practice their faiths. It is the city which the Jews established in ancient times. He announced that Vice President Mike Pence would soon leave for the Middle East. The president formally signed an order to the State Department to make preparations to construct a US embassy in Jerusalem as a "magnificent monument to peace." For two decades previous presidents exercised the waiver, refusing to deliver on their promise to move the embassy or recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital – although it was the will of Congress. "I am delivering," Trump said. Two decades of waivers brought us no closer to peace than before and a repetition would not produce a better result. We believe that the new approach which I hereby announce is in the best interests of the US and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Every sovereign nation has the right to determine its capital. And for decades the Israeli parliament, the prime minister and president's residences and the supreme court are located here. We are recognizing reality. This is not a departure from my commitment to achieve a peace agreement, the president declared solemnly. He declined to take a position on the boundaries of Jerusalem or contested borders and said a two state solution was acceptable if agreed to by both sides. The status quo at religious site is to be observed, including Harm al-Sharif. Trump emphasized that he hopes to forge a peace agreement that is "a great deal for Israel and the Palestinians. Finally, the US president called on all leaders of the region to "rededicate to path of mutual understanding and respect" and join together in the noble quest for lasting peace. Ads by Revcontent
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Czech Republic follows Trump, recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Dec 6, 2017 @ 23:57
The Czech Republic on Wednesday followed U.S. President Donald Trump and said it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. "The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967," said a statement issued by the Czech foreign ministry.

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International Community's Anxiety Rises Over US Jerusalem Decision Last Updated: December 06, 2017 5:45 PM
Margaret Besheer

FILE - Israeli forces take position during clashes with Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.
FILE - Israeli forces take position during clashes with Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.
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UNITED NATIONS —
The international community reacted swiftly to President Donald Trump's announcement the United States would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that could reignite Israeli-Palestinian violence.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres led the chorus of global voices Wednesday urging calm and restraint.

"From day one as secretary-general of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians," he told reporters. "Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.

"I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people, it has been so for centuries and it will always be," Guterres added.

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B," the U.N. chief said.

The United Nations said late Tuesday that the delegations of Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the UK, and Uruguay are requesting an emergency meeting of the Council, with a briefing by the secretary general, to be held before the end of this week.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Trump's announcement on Jerusalem "is a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process."

Palestinian top negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "This step is prejudging, dictating, closing doors for negotiations and I think President Trump tonight disqualified the United States of America to play any role in any peace process. The Palestinian leadership will call for an emergency session for the Palestine Central Council to study this speech and to review all the options available and take the proper decision concerning many issues."

Egypt — the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 — has denounced the U.S. president's decision. A Foreign Ministry statement says Trump's decision is a violation of international resolutions on the city's status, and notes Egypt is worried about the fallout of the move on the stability of the region and about its "extremely negative" impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

French President Emmanuel Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron's reaction was swift and critical. "It is a regrettable decision taken by the Americans vis-à-vis Jerusalem. France does not approve, it contradicts international law and it ignores U.N. Security Council resolutions," he said.

Earlier, Bolivia's U.N. ambassador said his delegation would request a public meeting of the Security Council should Trump go ahead with the expected announcement.

"It would be a reckless and a dangerous decision that goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council, also weakens any effort for peace in the region, and also upsets the whole region," Ambassador Sacha Llorentty told reporters.

At his weekly audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, just hours ahead of Trump's announcement, Pope Francis said he could not "remain silent" about his deep concern over Jerusalem.

He urged respect for the "status quo" of Jerusalem, a city he noted is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. He said he prays that "wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts."

Leaders and analysts have raised the alarm in recent days that such a move could be seen as a major provocation to the Palestinians and could trigger another intifada or uprising.

In 2000, five years of deadly violence was ignited when Israeli politician Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount at the Al Aqsa mosque complex. Both Jews and Muslims claim the site as among their most sacred.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement.

"We're profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the U.S. embassy here," Netanyahu said.

Former U.N. secretary-general and leader of The Elders, Kofi Annan, said in a statement there would be no lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians unless both parties' rights and claims are respected in the historic city.

FILE - Former U.N. secretary general and chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state Kofi Annan.
FILE - Former U.N. secretary general and chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state Kofi Annan.
"I deeply regret today's decision by the U.S. president, reversing a long-held position and breaking with the international consensus on Jerusalem," Annan said. "I hope Palestinians and regional Arab powers will react with restraint, and U.S. allies will do all they can to realign Washington's policy with international norms. All parties must avoid stoking tensions, which could all too easily spill over into violence." "With this move, the United States is violating its own international legal obligations not to recognize or assist an illegal situation and to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions," said Raed Jarrar, Amnesty International USA's Middle East Advocacy Director. "No country in the world recognizes Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, making the decision to confer U.S. recognition deeply troubling." Jarrar said the decision would undermine international rule of law and shows "a total disregard for mass human rights violations that Palestinians are facing as a result of Israel's annexation policies." RJerusalem mayor: US Embassy move can be done in '2 minutes' Nir Barkat tells Israel Radio that U.S. President Donald Trump could move embassy by changing sign on the existing consulate and giving Ambassador David Friedman an office - Jerusalem Municipality sues Finance Ministry for not moving all units to capital. Reuters, Yori Yalon and Israel Hayom Staff The U.S. Consulate on Nablus Road in east Jerusalem | Photo: Dudi Vaaknin Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the holy city could take "two minutes," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday. Senior U.S. officials have said U.S. President Donald Trump is likely on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital while delaying the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months, though he is expected to order his aides to begin planning such a move immediately. As an outcry grew across the Middle East and among world powers against any unilateral U.S. decision on Jerusalem, officials said that no final decisions had been made. Barkat said the United States would only have to convert one of its existing assets in the city, such as its existing Jerusalem consulate. "They just take the symbol of the consulate and switch it to the embassy symbol – two American Marines can do it in two minutes, and give the ambassador, David Friedman, a space to sit in," Barkat told Israel Radio. Barkat said that this decision could be implemented immediately, and the process of moving the rest of the employees to provide embassy services could take place in a more structured manner. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Municipality filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on Tuesday against the Finance Ministry and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, arguing that the ministry has not lived up to its legal obligation to move all ministry units currently located outside Jerusalem to the capital. A total of 163 government units under several ministries currently maintain offices outside the capital, in violation of the Basic Law: Jerusalem and government decisions on the issue. According to the figures cited in the petition, the failure to implement the directive to move all government offices to Jerusalem will cause the city to lose over 2 billion shekels ($570 million) in the coming decade, as well as over 10,000 Jerusalem-based jobs. Officials in the Finance Ministry said Tuesday that the Jerusalem Municipality's petition was political in nature and that the responsibility for moving government offices to Jerusalem lay with the Prime Minister's office and the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry.




MainAll NewsForeign AffairsSecurity Council to hold urgent meeting on Jerusalem

Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Jerusalem Eight countries call for urgent meeting of UN Security Council following Trump's recognition of Jerusalem. Contact Editor Arutz Sheva Staff, 07/12/17 01:05 Share

UN Security CouncilUN Security CouncilReuters

Eight countries called on Wednesday for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council after the United States said it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay want a meeting by the end of the week, the Swedish mission to the 15-member body said, according to AFP.

Japan, which currently holds the council's rotating presidency, had not set a time for the meeting by Wednesday afternoon.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said following President Donald Trump's announcement that Jerusalem's status can only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Guterres added that he had "consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures" and stated, "There is no alternative to the two-state solution."

Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump's move "a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council."

"It's a threat not just to the peace process, but also it's a threat to international peace and security," said the envoy.

Trump had said in his speech earlier on Wednesday that the time had come to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


"This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement. Israel is a sovereign nation, with the right - like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace," he said.

"Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residences of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries," noted Trump.

"Today, we finally acknowledged the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do," he said.

The move was blasted by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said the UK disagreed with the recognition of Jerusalem and said the move was unhelpful to the prospects of regional peace.

The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat blasted Trump's decision, saying it destroys any hopes for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"He destroyed the two-state solution," Erekat declared, adding that Trump "disqualified his country from any role whatsoever" in the peace process.


US President Donald Trump
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FULL SPEECH: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital Reuters|Published: 06.12.17 , 23:40
The following is the text of an address made by President Donald Trump announcing the recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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US President Donald Trump: Thank you. When I came into office, I promised to look at the world's challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.


US President Trump declares Jerusalem is Israel's capital, US embassy move (Video: Reuters)

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city—and so importantly—is Israel's capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law's waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

US President Trump making the Jerusalem decleration (Photo: AFP)
US President Trump making the Jerusalem decleration (Photo: AFP)

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.

I've judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem—the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done.

That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.

Trump showing his signature on the presidential decree postponing the US embassy move to Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)
Trump showing his signature on the presidential decree postponing the US embassy move to Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. With today's action, I reaffirm my administration's longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region.

There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.

This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what it is possible; not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.

So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.

I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

Trump and VP Mike Pence (Photo: AP)
Trump and VP Mike Pence (Photo: AP)

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilized nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate—not violence.

And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region—political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim—to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.


TRUMP ANNOUNCES US MOVING EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM

> Iran Supreme Leader: US intention to move embassy sign of 'incompetence and failure'

> WATCH: Bennett: Israel won't pay price for Jerusalem announcement

BY MICHAEL WILNER DECEMBER 6, 2017 20:47 US president told regional leaders he intended to declare the city the capital of the Jewish State.




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Trump announces US moving embassy to Jerusalem With Vice Pence Mike Pence looking on, US President Donald Trump gives a statement on Jerusalem, during which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, US, December 6, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)


SEOUL — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and would move its embassy there, upending decades of a diplomatic consensus over the status of the city pioneered by his predecessors.



Citing a 1995 law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, compelling the president make the move absent national security risks, Trump said the time had come to recognize what everyone already knows to be true. "Jerusalem is the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times," he said. "Today Jerusalem is the seat of Israel's government."

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"This is nothing more or less than a recognition of the reality," he added.

He directed the State Department to begin preparing the move, which may take years as the government scopes out a location, hires architects and plans for what is sure to be a challenging security environment.

Trump made the announcement despite fierce backlash from America's closest allies in recent days. European and Arab world leaders alike, including Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the pope, said that he was recklessly challenging a delicate status quo over the city, in which the international community has insisted its future must be determined in direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves.

Trump said that his move does not change his commitment to that negotiated settlement– and underscored his commitment by endorsing a two-state solution for the first time.

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"We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians," he said. "The United States would support a two state solution if agreed to by both sides."




Trump said that his actions on Wednesday do not determine the "specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty" in the city, stating those would be "subject to final status negotiations between the parties." The Israeli government says that Jerusalem is its undivided and eternal capital, while Palestinians insist that a peace agreement must deliver them a sovereign state with a capital of its own in the city's eastern districts.

"We are not taking a position on any final status issues," Trump said.

But the international community did not immediately interpret Trump's moves in this way. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, made remarks to the press shortly after Trump spoke urging calm, amid warnings from the State Department itself that violence may erupt following Trump's announcement.

"Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved in final status negotiations between the two parties," Guterres stated. "In this moment of great tension, I want to make it clear there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B."

France's president, Emmanuel Macron, also called the decision "regrettable" and said the status of Jerusalem was not for one country to decide, but a matter of international security, of consensus and of law.

The administration's closest allies in the Arab world, on which it based its upcoming Mideast peace initiative, strongly condemned the move. Egypt said it refused to recognize it and warned of grave consequences. Turkey threatened to sever ties to Israel, and the State Department's office for embassy security warned of planned protests in all of its major cities.

Trump castigated past presidents as cowardly for failing to make the move earlier, "under the belief that delaying recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace."

"The record is in," he added: "After two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

"Old challenges demand new approaches. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach," Trump said in his announcement from the White House diplomatic reception room, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, who has pushed for the move. Pence will be visiting Israel later this month.

A senior White House official told The Jerusalem Post that Trump's Middle East peace team, led by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, was a consultative partner on the decision and fully supports the move.

"The peace team was fully aware of this and in the loop," the official said. "Certain parties are going to react the way they need to react. We expect bumps along the way– but we believe there is an historic opportunity."

Greenblatt wrote on Twitter that Trump's speech was "courageous" effort to recognize the current and historic reality of the city's status. His team is committed to pressing on, he continued, no matter how angrily parties react in the short term.

Members of Israel's cabinet have praised the move as "destined" and "overdue." And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video statement praising Trump's action.



"We're profoundly grateful to the president for the courageous and just decision," Netanyahu said, calling the move one in furtherance of peace, "because there is no peace that does not include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

"This decision reflects the presidents commitment to an ancient and enduring truth," he added.

But the Palestinians have warned this marks a potentially fatal blow to Trump's burgeoning peace initiative, and Hamas has called for a new intifada– a violent uprising– in response.

In a forceful speech, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Trump's claim that his move was actually a step towards peace– and said that, with his actions, the US had relinquished its historic role as broker.

"The US administration with this statement has chosen to go against all the international and bilateral agreements, and to ignore the international consensus," Abbas said in a televised address. "The United States is withdrawing from the role it has played in the peace process."

Abbas recounted Christian and Muslim history in the contested city, known in the Arab world as al-Quds, without acknowledging any Jewish history there.

"It's an attempt to change our history, and it will not succeed," he said. "It's a Palestinian city– an Arab city, a Christian city and a Muslim city."




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What Every Grocery Store Gets Wrong About Hanukkah

BY STACEY ZISOOK ROBINSON DEC 1, 2016
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The Christmas push is on. Red and green and bits of tinsel are being crammed into an aisle or two in many stores. An almost infinite variety of Christmas wrapping paper is popping up everywhere. Last week, I was treated to a host of heavenly angels doing an easy-listening rendition of some carol or other while I shopped for peanut butter and cat food.

And in the spirit of multi-culturalism, here come the Hanukkah displays: matzah, kosher grape juice, and yahrzeit candles.

Every Jewish holiday. Every time.

With the exception of grocery stores in the more Jewish neighborhoods, every Jewish holiday seems to mean a single aisle endcap display of matzah, grape juice, and "jelly glass" candles. I'm 55 years old, and this has always been the case.

I'm long past the days of yearning for a tree or a visit from Santa. I take great joy in lighting the several menorahs we have—some bought, some made. I finally learned to make latkes from scratch and give my dad grief when he douses them in salt and ketchup rather than apple sauce. I still love Christmas carols, still hate egg nog, and I have no problem with mall Santas and cashiers who wish me "Merry Christmas!" as they hand me my change.

Here's where I get stuck: matzah, grape juice, and candles.

You'd think, after all this time, after the science that marketing has become—where advertising and manipulation and cash go hand in hand—these grocery stores would at least learn to distinguish which Jewish holiday requires matzah, which require menorah candles, and when to lay out the yahrzeit candles (hint: people die year-round). I won't even get into the major retailers who refuse to carry any Hanukkah merchandise in their glut of holiday paraphernalia. Refuse. It's 2016. for crying out loud. I've called corporate offices. They all have a policy. That's fine; I have money to burn and other stores in which to burn it.

I'm not calling for a Marketing and Merchandising Symposium to ensure we Jews have a place at the tchotchke trough. This time of year, as thoughts of good cheer and family dance in my head, it would be nice if my family and I were considered a part of that dance, regardless of our religion. And while we're at it, let's hear it for the Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians, too. Yes, I said Zoroastrians. Invite them all to the party. If I matter, surely they matter as well! This isn't a war on holidays, it's a celebration.

Because it's not The Stuff. It's what The Stuff represents: that we are Outsiders. Still. It would be nice to feel as if my "stuff" matters.

It would be nice if the matzah stayed in its crates in the warehouse, waiting for spring to come.

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Pastrami vs. Corned Beef: What's the Difference and Which Reigns Supreme? These classic Jewish deli meats have important, though subtle, differences.

BY SHANNON SARNA | NOVEMBER 30, 2017

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Many people use corned beef and pastrami almost interchangeably. After all, they come on a sandwich, they kind of look the same and you can find both at Jewish-style delis, right?

Historically, corned beef was made from brisket, and pastrami was made with a cut of meat called naval, which is also beef, but is not the same as the brisket cut. Today it is very common to find pastrami also made from brisket. And so while these two deli meats are made from the same cut of beef, the preparation for each is different.

Many believe corned beef to be an Irish dish, since corned beef and cabbage has become a staple for St. Patrick's Day in America. But actually, the Irish community in America learned about corned beef from the Jews when they were neighboring immigrant communities in various New York City neighborhoods. The original Irish dish was bacon and cabbage, not corned beef and cabbage. But brisket was a cheaper alternative to bacon at the time and so it was replaced. Pastrami is a dish very clearly originating in Romania, also brought over by Jewish immigrants.

Both meats are brined, often for several days or up to a week. But afterwards corned beef is boiled or steamed, and pastrami is seasoned with a dry spice mix, smoked and then often steamed again before serving.

Aside from corned beef and pastrami there is also Montreal-style smoked meat, which differs from pastrami in that it is more akin to a Texas-style smoked brisket. It is dry cured with spices, sits for at least a week and then is cooked in a smoker.



So what does it mean if you see turkey pastrami or lox pastrami? This refers more to the spices used to flavor the meat or fish, which often includes coriander, black pepper, mustard seed, salt, sugar, garlic and fennel. You can make your own pastrami spice rub using this recipe from Tasting Table, and then put it on everything from chicken to veggies.

So, the most important question remains: Which meat reigns supreme? I have always favored the slight spice of pastrami, so pastrami definitely gets my vote. But when you all voted on Facebook this week, it seemed to be a bit of a split; in fact, many people shared that they love both. After all, it is common to find corned beef and pastrami on the same sandwich, so we are just going to have say this one is a tie.

If all this talk about corned beef and pastrami has gotten you hungry, try one of my favorite pastrami recipes:

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