President Donald Trump's declaration that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, along with his announcement that he plans to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel-Aviv, raised concerns among critics who say it could disrupt any hope for a long-awaited peace. Yesterday, in a NYT op-ed titled, "Of Course Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital", Shmuel Rosner compared Trump's actions to Harry Truman's support of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, in which the international community formally adopted a plan for a Jewish state alongside an Arab one.
The city - home to holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims - is a unique and symbolic place, and its status is one of the key issues that divide Israel and the Palestinians.
Some historians say, however, that this is not exactly true, and that the scorching heat in Sydney and Melbourne in summer is one of major reasons that cool Canberra was chosen.
Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, widely seen as the most senior Christian figure in Jerusalem, and a dozen other church leaders in the Holy Land, sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday warning of "irreparable harm".
Speaking in a televised address immediately after Trump's speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the U.S. decision rewarded Israel for its occupation and that the "reprehensible" act undermined all peace efforts. In the biblical town of Bethlehem, troops fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd, in clashes that could cloud the upcoming Christmas celebrations in the town of Jesus' birth.
Russia's position on the issue remained unchanged, the ministry added.
They will see Trump's announcement as the end of their hopes and demands for East Jerusalem as a capital of a future independent Palestinian state.
In Australia, curious tourists are often shocked to find Sydney is not actually the capital city, and usually told the inland city of Canberra was built as the "bush capital" as a compromise somewhere between Australia's largest city and its competitor to the south, Melbourne.
"Personally, it is hard to understand the logic behind this move", said Wasi Mohamed, director of Emgage Pennsylvania.
Clashes broke out in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, where Israeli officers fired what appeared to be rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas at protesters. They also waved Palestinian flags and banners proclaiming Jerusalem as their "eternal capital", language that Israelis similarly use for their nation. People took to the streets chanting "Death to America", "Death to Israel" and "Down with Trump".
Hamas said Trump's decision would "open the gates of hell" on US interests in the region.
"His stated desire for doing the 'ultimate deal' is now a casualty of his own policy naivete", Kurtzer said.
The urgency for Trump's announcement on Wednesday was driven partly by Vice President Mike Pence's planned travel to the Mideast later this month.
The patriarchs urged Trump "to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem". The violence that will follow Trump's declaration, Rosner suggests, will be worth it.
Endorsing the decision, Scott said that "the state of Florida stands with all the citizen of Israel". After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
During the 1979 Canadian federal election, Progressive Conservative Leader Joe Clark had pledged to move Canada's embassy to Jerusalem, and had repeated the promise when he was elected prime minister. "It is not something new, but it is an important but understandable step by the administration".
"This is long overdue", she said in an interview with "Power Lunch".
The president called on the region to take his message calmly. Gaza, Hamas' stronghold, is closed by an Israeli blockade, while in the West Bank, many of its members have been arrested.
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