Is Jerusalem Israel's capital?

Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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Donald Trump condemned as he prepares to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

By Will Stevenson

Words are powerful weapons when they are used by people outside the corridors of power. When they are equipped by leaders and political representatives, the impact of these words can reach far and wide. As commander-in-chief of one of the most powerful nations in the world, Donald Trump has turned them into a blunt weapon.

In a position of power, the president's words can hurt - and even kill. Trump is not known for his diplomatic skills, and in the longest and most sensitive conflicts, he has the potential to cause harm to the peace process and to people.

The unprecedented president is set to unleash unpredictable consequences for the Middle East by formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Representatives of several countries have condemned the move from the President, though it follows a path he set out to his supporters on the election trail.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “concerned” about the move, whilst bolder statements came from other officials included Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telling Mr Trump that his decision to relocate the embassy meant a “flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world".

Pope Francis has even stepped into the debate, issuing a heartfelt plea for the president to respect the status quo of the region. The pontiff told thousands of people at his general audience: “I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.”

The long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine over the rightful ownership of the Holy Land is set to erupt again after Mr Trump’s statement.

Israel the only country in the world where a majority of citizens are Jewish, making up 75.4 per cent of the population. There are other faiths in the region, including Muslims (16.9 per cent) and Christians (2.1 per cent), according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

In 1917, the British Government announced a public statement, the Balfour Declaration, which announced support for the establishment of a “National home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

Whilst the statement went on to say “nothing shall be done which may prejudice civil and religious rights and political status enjoyed by existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,” this did not hold and two wars have been fought over the territory since.

Jerusalem has a great significance to both Israel and Palestine, to both Judaism and Islam, as well as other faiths. The peace process in the region usually has a great significance for the United States. Donald Trump promised to put America First, and his latest move may put the peace process outside of his country last.

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