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Trump defies all international norms to meet election pledge over Jerusalem

28th Dec 2017
Trump defies all international norms to meet election pledge over Jerusalem

President Trump and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (Creative Commons)

The legal status of Jerusalem has been flouted by Israel for decades. Like illegal settlements, it has not only annexed both the modern section and the Old City but transformed its demography, physical features and historic character. Under the fateful 1947 UN Partition of Palestine, Jerusalem was set aside as a corpus separatum with a special legal and political status administered by the United Nations. In the 1948 war, Israel occupied West Jerusalem and therefore under international law West Jerusalem is an occupied territory too.

Under Donald Trump, the US has broken the covenant by recognising the Blessed City as Israel’s undivided capital. Its breach of international consensus was on full display as the rest of the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously against “recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”.

The implications of Trump’s declaration to meet his election pledge to the pro-Israel lobby cannot be overemphasised. Throughout history, Jerusalem has always been unique. It was underlined by the principal Allied Powers after World War One to recognise its special status among the world’s three great monotheistic religions as ‘a sacred trust of civilization’ that should be safeguarded in perpetuity, under international guarantee.

It is not so much that the US President has jeopardised the so-called peace process as one has never existed for decades. The rights of the Palestinian people have not only been trodden upon but gradually eroded away. They have had their land stolen and further encroached upon by the increasing invasion of illegal settlements. All in violation of international law and a succession of United Nations resolutions treated with the utmost contempt.

The declaration itself is unethical, irresponsible, and legally void. It is merely the expression of the world’s most powerful nation that has funded Israel and armed to the teeth to ensure the gross imbalance of power in the Middle East. It is unilateral and contrary to the principles and rules of international law. It was made by a president who has never hidden his hatred for and grotesque bias against Muslims.

Violations of international norms are nothing new to the US. It makes up its own rules and often is hypocritical of by imposing on other countries. So far this century alone, it has launched a string of wars mostly in Muslim countries, labelled its opponents as unlawful combatants, defiantly established a Guantanamo Bay military prison outside its own jurisdiction, and unreservedly tortured prisoners in defiance of any semblance of human rights.

Trump’s declaration is a gross and flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the purposes for which it was created. It represents a real and serious threat to international peace and security. The US has contravened more than 50 UN resolutions. In essence, this decision is a consecration of an illegal occupation and effectively is rewarding one of the gravest defilers of international law.

If proof was needed, this shows the US never to have been an honest broker given the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. Worst of all, the declaration crosses all bounds of human decency and sets in stone the virtual ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their own land. It is deliberately provocative and seditious. Seventy years after the creation of Israel, it sets back hopes of Palestinian rights ever being restored.

World resoundingly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital capital

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