See below for video of “President” Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, followed by statements by Virginia political leaders. For the record, I have studied in Israel, have a Master’s in Middle East Studies, am Jewish and a strong supporter of a secure, safe Jewish democracy in the Middle East living in peace with its neighbors. My view is that Trump’s move today does nothing to make anyone’s life better, to make Israel (or anyone else) safer/more secure, to advance the cause of Middle East peace, or basically anything positive for the world. To the contrary, it is needlessly provocative, pleasing mostly certain elements (e.g., the EW Jacksons of the world) of Trump’s “base.” As a pro-Israel, Jewish friend of mine put it, “The move to Jerusalem has no value even for Israel,” other than a negative value of course. With that, here’s Trump’s announcement, followed by statements from Virginia political leaders.
Connolly Statement on President Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement today:
“When President Jimmy Carter sat down at the negotiating table with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978, he reiterated that Jerusalem’s final status would not be decided unilaterally. Every successive U.S. administration since then has upheld that approach. With President Trump’s announcement today, he has abandoned that commitment and it is incumbent on his Administration to explain to the world how this decision brings us closer to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER
~ On Trump administration decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel ~
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding the President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and direct the State Department to begin the process to move the U.S. embassy:
“The President’s decision today to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes at the wrong time and unnecessarily inflames the region. This announcement upends long-standing U.S. policy and international agreements that the status of Jerusalem should be determined as part of a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, not unilaterally.
“I have been, and remain a strong and consistent ally of Israel. The relationship between our countries is unique – defined by close friendship, strategic cooperation and mutual respect. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I fear the administration’s decision at this time will alienate key partners in the Middle East, fuel growing anti-American sentiment, and put U.S. diplomatic and security personnel at risk in the region and beyond. I further remain concerned that it undermines the ability to broker a peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and undercuts Israel’s security by placing overwhelming pressures on Israeli-Palestinian security coordination.”
I’m very concerned that @realDonaldTrump‘s #Jerusalem announcement will further set back efforts to achieve a two-state solution—and the reaction we see across the world is troubling. This could have destabilizing consequences for a region already rife with tensions.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) December 6, 2017
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement is a misguided, ill-timed move which will antagonize key allies and endanger the peace process. https://t.co/mgEFAnEaLr
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) December 6, 2017