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Trump: “today we finally acknowledge the obvious.. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”

Trump: “today we finally acknowledge the obvious.. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”

“Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”

Donald Trump has a speech scheduled for 1 p.m. on the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

The details are in our prior post, U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, Palestinian Days of Rage to follow.

The live feed of the speech is below:

Full speech:

Full Transcript

Thank you. When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking.

We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city, and so importantly, is Israel’s capital. This act passed congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. And was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in.

After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver.

Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It was 70 years ago that the United States under President Truman recognized the state of Israel.

Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.

Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of State and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have by the a country where Jews, Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today and must remain a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the stations of the cross, and where Muslims worship at Al Aqsa Mosque. However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why consistent with the Jerusalem embassy act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear. This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement.

We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement.

Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif. Above all, our greatest hope is for peace. The universal yearning in every human soul.

With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation. This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity.

Lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable.

Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it.

So today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud and diverse. Vibrant and strong.

But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. It is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence. And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities.

And finally, I ask the leaders of the region political and religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians and God bless the United States.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Video Excerpts

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“it would be folly to think that repeating failed solutions will bring a different result”

A common sense iteration of the old definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

None of the countless “diplomats” (so-called) who have worked on this issues over the years has ever wanted the problem solved because that would mean that the gravy train might be stopped. No more embassy parties, soirees in swank joints in Geneva, Paris, NYC. No more limousines and high-minded perks.

Comes from the same mindset of government programs. These are never intended to solve the stated problem. They are simply patronage jobs for the connected.

God bless our President.

Unpossible. I’ve been told that Trump is a left wing collectivist by LI commenters.

Congratulations to Trump voters that ignored the “collective” wisdom of the neverTrumpers.

4th armored div | December 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

We are fortunate to have a POTUS who keeps promises and had a clear vision of the future for the USA and mankind!

Whatever else his faults may be, only someone truly mentally ill would argue with this speech. And yes, I’m pointing at you, progressive liberal abusers of the term “common sense”!

2nd Ammendment Mother | December 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm

But….. but….. Trump is Hitler….. I’m so confused…..

    Absolutely! And EVERYONE said not to vote for him because he was an anti-semitic white supremacist who hated jews!!! How could he now do this? It’s almost like what all those people were saying about him was just a bunch of made-up bs.

    The same people who say Trump is Hitler also say Israel is Hitler, so this just confirms it.

Nice talk, but it doesn’t take any planning to move the embassy. If he meant it he could simply have announced that the brand-new building in Talpiot is now the embassy, and the fancy building in Tel Aviv is now a consulate.

The real test is not whether the USA recognizes the objective fact that Jerusalem is the capital city, which despite all the hoopla is really no big deal, because it was never up to the USA to decide. The real test is whether the USA recognizes that Jerusalem — any part of it — is in Israel at all. The president didn’t say, but we will soon see; the test is whether, starting this afternoon, the State Department, when issuing passports to US citizens born in Jerusalem, to put down the place of birth as “Jerusalem, Israel”. If it continues to refuse then we will know that today’s speech was meaningless.

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    A good point but remember – the State Department, just like the FBI and the DOJ, is still packed with people dedicated to disrupting anything Trump tries to do in any way they can. A lot are quitting, finally, but a whole lot more need to be flushed and replaced before anyone can expect State dep’t staffers to actually do what they’re told.

    Fortunately this issue, when they try to counter it by refusing to issue passports, will be one more lever that can be used to start prying them out of their desk chairs.

    mailman in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    You ever moved an Embassy mohio? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Thought so.

    Barry in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    “If it continues to refuse then we will know that today’s speech was meaningless.”


      Milhouse in reply to Barry. | December 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Really? If the US continues to claim that as far as it is concerned no part of Jerusalem is in Israel, then of what possible significance is today’s announcement?

        Barry in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2017 at 8:53 pm


        Yes, really.
        Since I know from your previous comments this is an issue you are concerned about, take your wins where you find them.

        And don’t be silly.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | December 6, 2017 at 9:06 pm

          Recognizing that it’s the capital is not a win. Recognizing that it’s in the country would be a win. Until I see concrete action, i.e. passports being issued and the embassy moved (which could have happened today but didn’t), I give him no credit.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | December 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

          IOW’s, I want more symbolism or no credit given.
          It’s hard for neverTrumpers to give credit.


          For Trump this is not about a campaign promise. It is part of a larger strategy.

          Pay attention.

    gmac124 in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

    If Jerusalem is recognized as the capitol of Israel by default it must be recognized as part of Israel. I would assume that is why Trump didn’t feel the need to spell it out.

      Milhouse in reply to gmac124. | December 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      First of all, it’s “capital”, not “capitol”. There is no such word as “capitol”. “The Capitol” is the name of several buildings in the USA.

      Second, on this topic nothing is “by default”.

      We will see whether he meant it the next time a Jerusalem-born US citizen is issued a US passport. Or when the Zivitofsky kid applies to have his amended.

I am not even Jewish and this was the correct decision by the president.

F99king loving all this winning!!! HAHAHHAHHAHAA

The arc of history really DOES bend towards justice!
G*d bless Israel, and G*d bless the United States!

I agree with everything Trump said except this part: “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions . . . .”

In fact, Jerusalem is the heart of two great, and connected, religions: Judaism and Christianity. It is only tangentially related to Islam. Muhammad never stepped foot in Jerusalem during his lifetime. The koran makes no mention of Jerusalem by name. The Al Aqsa mosque (“the farthest mosque”) to which Muhammad supposedly made a dream visit did not even exist in Jerusalem during Muhammad’s lifetime. Muslims’ claim to Jerusalem as one of the “holy sites” of their religion is basically modern-day b.s.

Incidentally, I was listening to NPR on the way home, and laughing so hard it was difficult to drive. Steve Inskeep (D) said: “President Trump is not the first chief executive to say that he’s going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He is just the first president to do it.”

It was so nice to hear one of the libs attempt to attack Trump by admitting he was keeping a campaign promise. Poor libs.

    Oh, and it was followed by an interview with Daniel Kurtzer, who NPR credited (twice) as “Ambassador to Israel under GW Bush” which sounds a lot more conservative than “Clinton and Obama advisor/speechwriter”

    As expected, he huffed and puffed about how terrible an idea this was, etc, etc… The money quote is here:

    “And therefore, each president, as a candidate, has called for the United States to recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy, but once behind the desk in the Oval Office, has made the decision that this would cut across our role of trying to deal with this very sensitive issue.”

    Translation: Every presidential candidate has been willing to lie about their support of Israel. Until now.

    Popping more popcorn.

I am well pleased with this action. It is significant: the power of the Palestinian temper tantrum will be broken.

The attitude of the Palestinians toward making a deal that respects Israel’s right to exist has always reminded me of the scene in Independence Day where the President, played by Bill Pullman, asks the telepathic alien captured and transported to Area 51:

POTUS: “What do you want?”

Alien: “We want you to die!”

Yup, that pretty much captures the Palestinian attitude toward Israel.