USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer appears in a video by AJ+ explaining the implications of Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

U.S. Alone in Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

You’re seeing the word “Jerusalem” in the headlines today. This is why it’s important.

Posted by AJ+ on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: The United States will now be the only country that is going to put its embassy in Jerusalem.

For Trump to make a decision like this today is a very clear move in favor of one side in this dispute, and one that would have ramifications not just for the Israeli-Palestinian question, but for billions of people around the world.

It does translate to a political win for the right wing in Israel, who have made the argument that there is no need to concede anything in a process with the Palestinians, precisely because the Americans will continue to weigh in on Israel’s side.

Jerusalem, of course, is maybe the most important city in the world. It is important to people of all three major monotheistic faiths. And in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, it is the single most important and contested city between both sides.

Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have been increasingly pushed out, subject to policies like home demolitions, house evictions, residency revocations, all kinds of limitations on freedom of movement, limitations on access to their holy sites and so on.

It’s hard to see how any Palestinian leader with any self-respect could continue to engage in a Washington-mediated peace process after what is supposed to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state has been awarded to Israel.

The United States doesn’t stand to really gain anything from this move. If anything, it stands only to lose. The United States has relations with other states throughout the region, including many allies in the region, all of whom object to this move. This move would certainly create tension in other important relationships that the United States has, while destabilizing the situation on the ground, and also diminishing what is left of any American credibility to serve as a peace broker in the region.