Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
By Irish Echo Staff
The move by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his stated intention to move the U.S embassy there has drawn criticism from many European capitals, Dublin included.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, reacted to the president’s action by re-stating Ireland’s position on the status of Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is one of the permanent status issues which is to be settled in a final peace agreement in the Middle East,” said Mr. Coveney.
“It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council Resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine,” Coveney said.
“If the peace negotiations are to be successful, this will happen at the end of the process, when the full set of compromises has been worked out.
“The dangerously heightened tensions in Jerusalem in recent years have also underlined the need to avoid any unilateral actions to alter the status quo in the city.
“I believe, therefore, that today’s announcement by the United States in relation to Jerusalem is premature and ill-advised, and will be unhelpful to efforts to reach a resolution of the Middle East Peace Process, something which is very urgently needed.
“I conveyed to the U.S. Government yesterday my concern about reports of U.S. intentions, and I know that very many leaders around the world did the same.
“Today’s announcement is thus very disappointing and difficult to understand.”
Coveney said that Ireland remained fully committed to supporting both parties to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the Middle East Peace Process, “something which was essential for Israel to secure its future, and for Palestinians to enjoy their full political rights.”
President Trump took the opposite view. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It's also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done,” he said of his decision.
And he was supported by, among others, Congressman Peter King, co-chair of the congressional Friends of Ireland.
Said King: “I support President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision was not easy and there is no guarantee of success but it was the right move at the right time.
“The current strategy of ignoring reality has not worked. Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East and a strong and vibrant democracy.
“Despite the numerous concessions Israel has made over the years, the Palestinians still refuse to accept Israel's legitimacy.
“After he left office, President Clinton told me his greatest regret was that after convincing the Israelis to give the Palestinians ninety five percent of what they were demanding in 2000, Arafat and the Palestinians walked away from the table.
“Skeptics now say that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital which cause Palestinian demonstrations and violence. Well there already is violence.
“I have been to Jerusalem a number of times and know how serious the situation is. I believe the president's decision could very well break the status quo and restart the peace process.
“President Obama's Middle East policies failed. He encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood and destabilized Egypt; undercut allies like Jordan by failing to enforce his own ‘red line’ in Syria; invited Russia into Syria; signed a flawed agreement with Iran; and repeatedly sided against Israel.
“Despite their public protestations against President Trump's decision, our relationship with our Arab allies remains the strongest it has been in years and our solidarity with Israel has been reaffirmed.
“President Trump made the right call. God Bless America!”