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Hot Takes - World Leaders Respond to Trump Recognizing Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

by Countable | 12.7.17

Leaders from around the world are reacting to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The White House said Trump’s decision is a "recognition of reality," but not everyone agrees.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the move as the U.S. "abdicating its role as a peace mediator" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Calling Jerusalem the "eternal capital of the state of Palestine," Abbas said:

"These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts."

"It’s over," said Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Council. The announcement, he said, “aborted this peace process before it was born.”

This was a sentiment shared by Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the PLO:

"It means the death knell of any peace process."

Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Islamist militant group Hamas, warned:

"Our Palestinian people everywhere will not allow this conspiracy to pass, and their options are open in defending their land and their sacred places."

Hamas, Fatah, and other Palestinian groups called for a general strike on Thursday, urging residents of the West Bank and Gaza to march. Hamas also warned that Trump’s decision would "open the gates of hell." Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza, called the move a “declaration of war.”

As the Washington Post reported, thousands of Palestinians "gathered across the coastal strip after evening prayers to protest. Some held banners declaring ­Jerusalem a ‘red line.’ Others burned U.S. flags and pictures of Trump amid cheers from the crowds."

On the other side of the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was having a different reaction.

"Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years," Netanyahu said.

Surprising no one, he disagreed with Abbas, and labeled Trump’s decision an "important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin echoed the Prime Minister’s statements, calling Trump’s recognition a "beautiful gift."

"Jerusalem is not, and never will be, an obstacle to peace for those who want peace," Rivlin said. He continued, quoting Psalm 122:

"As it is written, 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may all that love her prosper, may there be peace in her quarters and palaces.'"

Likewise, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, said the move was the "the right thing to do, and here in Jerusalem and Israel we applaud the President."

Asked by CNN if he was worried about potential violence, Barkat said:

"The state of Israel would never be what it is today if we would be deterred by violence."

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court released a statement condemning Trump’s decision.

"The Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem . . . The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the U.S administration will reverse this action."

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi cautioned against:

"Complicating the situation in the region by introducing measures that would undermine chances for peace in the Middle East."

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, posted on Twitter:

Outside the Middle East, European leaders had similar criticisms of Trump’s move.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted in a tweet as saying:

"The German government does not support this position, because the status of Jerusalem is to be resolved in the framework of a two-state solution."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May called the decision "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

"Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states."

Pope Francis said:

"I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions."

And Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called the move "irresponsible," tweeting a lengthy condemnation:

Now that you know what world leaders have to say, what do you have to say? Do you support President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy? Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps.

—Josh Herman

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(44)
  • Gerald
    12/07/2017
    ···

    It is a foreign policy move that reflects his inability to read intelligence briefings and instead rely on Fox or conspiracy web sites to define the reality he lives in. Perhaps he could have waited until Christmas Eve to have thrown gasoline unnecessarily on the Middle East to get maximum support from his base. He obviously acted without any support from our allies. The world now sees us as a child with a gun in a room of unarmed adults. They are too kind. I miss President Obama so much.

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  • Karan
    12/07/2017
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    GUYS I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW THAT THE SENATE VOTED 90-0 TO RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL!!! “As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem.” Those are Chuck Schumer’s words. It’s birpartsan. STOP BLAMING TRUMP

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  • Shane
    12/07/2017
    ···

    Impeach this reckless president already. There are plenty of sufficient grounds to do so. Stop him now before it gets any worse. This city is sacred to the worlds major religions and should not be used as a political symbol of any one country or religion. He's inciting violence with his words alone. Get trump out now!

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  • Nan
    12/07/2017
    ···

    Recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Jerusalem is a stupid move. Jerusalem as a religious center for 3 monotheistic faiths should be treated like Vatican City and be independent of all countries.

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  • DrCindyBean
    12/07/2017
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    Reckless and dangerous behavior from a dangerous dangerous delusional demagogue. TRUmp’s a clear and present danger to USA and the world.

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  • Christine
    12/07/2017
    ···

    Jerusalem has long been declared the capital of Israel. There is a reason our embassy and other embassies are not there & that is security. djt threw away a huge bargaining tool for peace, & has made more instability in the region. He is a clear and present danger to the USA and the world. His ignorance, hate, fear and greed are driving his bad decisions. He is unfit for office.

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  • Joel
    12/07/2017
    ···

    Now the Islamist militants groups will become Islamist militant groups; how very "dangerous." We need to stop this self deceiving narrative that there was peace that is now broken. If you are Jewish you need armed guards to go to the religious center of your faith. Palestinian control isn't working. If you think Trump just declared Jerusalem the capital your mistaken. He just chose to recognize it. Moving the embassy is the only power he actually holds.

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  • Sheryl
    12/07/2017
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    Well Jared, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into! Please go back to New York and stay the hell out of politics! Sorry world, we will fix this as soon as we can get rid of our Cheeto-head President.

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  • Robert
    12/07/2017
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    The disappointment and disapproval of the world leaders mirrors the majority of citizens of America. President Trump talked about this while campaigning, he has said he is fulfilling a campaign promise. What he hasnt said is this promise was made to his largest campaign donator Sheldon Adelson. I would like to know how much this cost Sheldon Adelson? Such a major decision to satisfy so few, even the president is a prostitute for campaign donations, which he said he would never take if you remember.

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  • Dennis
    12/07/2017
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    Screw the treacherous filth, Jerusalem is the capital, Think the scumbags are upset now, I vote retake the Temple Mount

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  • Terry
    12/07/2017
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    The ones crying over this decision shows me who the real culprits are stalling peace in the region.

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  • David
    12/07/2017
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    It’s about time we have a President with some guts. This was a bipartisan vote from the 90’s to recognize Jerusalem as the capital. Obama gave $150 billion to Iraq or Iran and now they are using that to finance terrorists around the world including North Korea. All the whiners and pathetic appeasers can go back to sucking your thumb now. GO TRUMP!

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  • Mark
    12/07/2017
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    He’s a bigger buffoon than I thought!

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  • Doug
    12/07/2017
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    The Palestinian people have always been nomadic tribes in the area with no place to call home but this is no excuse for wanting to take Israels capital that predates the Palestinians, there is plenty of room for the Palestinian people without taking someone else's land and they would be happy there where they have always been except for the jehadest that stir them up to kill Jews and take Israels land.

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  • SamL
    12/07/2017
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    I don’t understand the big deal..

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  • Cary
    12/07/2017
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    If you upset the worlds evildoers then take it that your doing the right thing. Way to go Trump, keep up the good work.

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  • Sam
    12/07/2017
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    Who cares what the world says, if they are doing something really wrong, not realizing the facts on the ground why should we go along with this stupidity, this is exactly why we need such a president to get out from such idiocies!

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  • Deirdre
    12/07/2017
    ···

    Impeach this insane man. He is ruining America and causing all of our allies to view America as a dangerous country. We are no longer a safe ally and trump is destroying America’s reputation throughout the world. Get off your high horses and impeach him. America is supposed to promote peace throughout the world. He is just promoting violence. He is a very dangerous man to be the president

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  • Skip
    12/08/2017
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    He’s playing to his base and big contributors. He loves to sow hate and discord. This is a mistake which should be obvious to less ignorant people. Even the Jews will regret the renewed hatred it will engender.

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  • Michelle
    12/07/2017
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    So Trump a Descendent of German Immigrants, elected err, buys American Presidency during Republican campaign. Who is the leader of the least free country in the world, decided to pull American Embassy, essentially stating, we do not recognize you as rightful citizens, we pick these other guys. And non of you Amerikkkans, see the irony in an immigrant who by the way, per his biggest fan', ANNE COULTER, wouldn't have even been eligible to vote regarding her voting standard, of grandparents born in US before voting. It's sick, and if a hundred other religions don't turn their backs on his Henry the 8th ruler attitude and this country. You best realize, the greed and money districts will no longer be seen as the evils of the West. It will be your very own religions, so when your religion wasn't under scrutiny, you can bet your butts it will be now. This coming from the country that has given the world, Scientology, Jim Jones, Jehovah's, Mormons, and the Hailey's comet cult and the biggest pimple on the butt of mankind, EVANGELICALS... WHY IS THERE AN EMBASSY THERE AND WHO THE FUCK IS THE AMBASSADOR?

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