Six years ago today, Trump became the first president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city

by Alex Caldwell

Analysis by Alex Caldwell | Photo: Alamy

Dec. 6, 2023, marks the sixth anniversary of a political decision that reshaped the dynamics of Israel’s position in the Middle East: President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Trump’s move reversed decades of American foreign policy decisions on Dec. 6, 2017, as he vowed to resolve one of the oldest conflicts in history in an effort to bring peace to the Middle East.

Trump also announced that his administration would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which several media pundits claimed would take years to complete.

The American embassy, however, was officially and successfully moved to Israel on May 14, 2018, and it has stood inside the newly recognized capital city ever since.

In a statement delivered from the White House, President Trump maintained that despite his predecessors “delaying the recognition of Jerusalem” despite their previous campaign promises, he would instead be the one to follow through.

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

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

Trump’s decision to relocate the embassy challenged decades of political turmoil. His move made him the first president to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as the city has immense religious, cultural, and historical significance to the Jewish people.

Recognizing the sensitive divide between the two sides, Trump noted that the United States “remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides” and finding a “two-state solution” between each of the territories would have support.

Trump maintained that Jerusalem “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.”

“However,” the president continued, “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,” he said. “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.”

Once Trump left office in January 2021, the relationship between Israel and Palestine transitioned from having a potential for hope and peace to violence and destruction during the era of Joe Biden.

Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli territory on Oct. 7, kick-starting a bloody and violent war between the two states. Trump recently slammed Biden over his supposed utilization of “American taxpayer dollars” to fund the terrorist attacks, noting that the recent atrocities in Israel “would NEVER have happened” if he were president.”

“When I was your president, we had PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH. Now we have weakness, conflict, and chaos, Trump told rally goers at a campaign event in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, in October. “The atrocities we are witnessing in Israel would NEVER have happened if I was president.”

President Trump negotiated four peace deals in the Middle East during his first term in office, according to the National Archives. Biden, however, removed Trump’s funding freeze to Palestine, offering millions in 2021, according to Forbes.

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