For many years, there has been an extensive conflict in the city of Jerusalem in Israel, specifically between the Israelites and Arabs. Mortimer B. Zuckerman wrote in “Why They Hate Israel” that, “In 1936, the British government, in the exercise of its mandate for Palestine, set up a commission to look into the clashes between Arabs and Jews.” According to NY Daily News, “It reported in July 1937 that the conflict was insoluble within a single state and required a partition.” This means that it is required for Jerusalem to become two separate states where one belongs to Palestine, and one belongs to Israel. The Palestinian view on this decision was not supportive. They greatly disagreed to any Jewish presence in what they considered Arab land. In May of 1948, five regular Arab armies invaded Israel, and it was Israel who was victorious. Nevertheless, the Arabs refused to give up their land and would not “understand that the penalty for starting a war was to lose land and sometimes sovereignty with it” (NY Daily News).
The Israelites took control of Jerusalem and thought of it as theirs, but the Palestinians would not accept that fate. Jerusalem became divided. The western half became part of Israel (and named its capital in 1950), while the eastern half remained occupied by Jordan and belonged to Palestine. “For the Palestinians, it was seen as a rallying point,” divulged Michael Dumper, professor in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter in England. “Foreign governments largely avoided Jerusalem and opened embassies in Tel Aviv, in recognition of the United Nations resolution” reported the New York Times. Sadly, this was not the end of the battle for Jerusalem. In 1967 the Arab-Israeli war took place, in which Israel defeated the Arabs and took control of more land, including the eastern side of Jerusalem. At this moment in time, the situation seemed clear cut. Jerusalem belonged to the Israelites. But, a visit from the politician Ariel Sharon in 2000 would change all of that. This visit, according to the New York Times, “lead to a second Palestinian uprising that claimed the lives of about 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis over five years.”
Decades later, tensions in Jerusalem are still high, and only seem to be getting worse. President Donald Trump has recently declared that the US embassy, now in Tel Aviv, would be moved to Jerusalem. This clearly goes against the UN’s resolution to remain impartial throughout the Middle East conflict. Mr. Trump stated that he is recognizing “historical and current reality” by making this move; however, this is an astonishing simplification of the world’s most complicated and tortuous conflict ” (Independent). In fact, “The Palestinians’ representative to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, told the BBC the widely-anticipated move would be the “kiss of death” for the Middle East peace process” (Independent).
Before the President made this decision, there was a moment of peace in Israel. There had been no violence for a time, and the Palestinians and Israelites seemed to be coexisting. Despite that, Mr. Trump’s decision on December 6th sparked major violence, for after he acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the number of attacks in Israel and the West Bank tripled. According to the Shin Bet’s statistics, this lead to 249 terror attacks in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel throughout the month of December. This is compared to 84 attacks the month before and 72 in October (Times of Israel). Because of the threat of more violence and protest, the UN Council had demanded on December 18th that the administration revoke its decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem and have it remain in Tel Aviv (New York Times). Although the UN greatly disagrees with the decision, the US has continued the move of the embassy. There continues to be worldwide political pressure as well as rebuke even within the United States of the President’s decision. The hope is that despite the US position, the attempt for Middle East peace will continue and a two state solution will prevail.