By moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem yesterday the United States has lost its right to be an impartial mediator in the Middle East.
US President Donald Trump, in a video message yesterday to the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem, said Washington remained committed to the peace process and preserving the status quo on holy sites.
Sadly, yesterday, peace was the first casualty of President Trump’s ill-thought-out decision.
Violent clashes erupted along Gaza’s border ahead of the controversial embassy opening, leaving over 50 Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded in the Arab-Israeli conflict’s bloodiest day in years. By the time the ceremony to inaugurate the embassy began, the clashes had been raging for more than five hours.
Qatar has expressed its strong condemnation of the brutal massacre and systematic killing committed by the Israeli occupation forces against unarmed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including children and women, during their peaceful and legitimate protest against the unilateral decision of the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
The US administration must recognise that its decision on Jerusalem is indicative of its partiality with the state of Israel.
It must also realise that recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not change the reality of the holy city.
As Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has previously stressed, the US decision on Jerusalem has no effect whatsoever on the legal or moral status of the holy city.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state they seek.
The international community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the full city of Jerusalem, which is home to religious sites and has particular significance for Muslims, Christians and Jews.
The statement put out by Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser on the Middle East, Jared Kushner, that the United States showed the world it could be trusted by opening its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem is fallacious.
What Trump and Kushner must realise is that by acting on their unilateral decision they have lost the international community’s trust. In December last year, the Trump administration’s decision was rejected by the international community. This was evident in the emergency UN Security Council meeting held on December 8, 2017.
On that day the majority of the world’s countries showed that they have the courage to do the right thing when it comes to the emotive issue of the status of Jerusalem.
The results of the December 8, 2017 vote at the UN on the resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should have served as a stinging rebuke for the Trump administration.
The non-binding measure was passed at a UN General Assembly emergency meeting with 128 votes in favour and nine against, while 35 countries abstained.
However, yesterday the United States demonstrated that it has chosen to disrespect international opinion on the status of Jerusalem.
The US decision represents a dangerous escalation of the crisis and a provocation not only for the Palestinians but for the Arabs and Muslims, not to mention that it flagrantly violates all international laws.
What’s more, President Trump’s decision has serious implications for the security and stability of the region and for the peace process which is based on international laws, the two-state solution and the Arab peace initiative.
The US has lost its honour and respect in the eyes of Arabs, Muslims and the world at large.
This biased decision has damaged America’s credibility and it has irrevocably lost its position as a peace sponsor between the Palestinians and Israelis.