SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) Today, President Trump is poised to break with the rest of the world, and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision will move the U.S. Embassy and break with decades of U.S. policy that could jeopardize peace efforts. Ryan Vogel, Director of national Security Studies at Utah Valley University, joined Brian Carlson to talk about how that decision will affect our national security.
President Donald Trump is set to announce the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem today.
U.S. allies and partners have repeatedly cautioned the incoming administration against this move. This includes warnings this week by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, France, and others that this move will ignite conflict in the region.
Arab and Palestinian leaders have also publicly warned that such a move could spark violence and resistance across the region, says Vogel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Trump that this action could endanger the peace process in an irreversible way.
Moving the embassy is controversial for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Jerusalem is legally occupied territory – it was obtained in war and does not belong to Israel. Moving the embassy would therefore be making a significant statement regarding Israel’s claim to that territory.
Second, Vogel says moving the embassy would jeopardize the United States’ position as an honest broker in the peace process.
However, Jerusalem is the declared capital of Israel and moving the embassy would make diplomatic relations easier for the two countries.
This is not the first time a president has pledged to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem – both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush pledged the same thing during their campaigns. Both, however, reconsidered after consultation at home and abroad.
For more about Professor Ryan Vogel and what he’s doing at Utah Valley University, visit www.UVU.edu/NSS.