As Donald Trump prepares to announce one of the most important decisions of his presidency — the implementation of his promise to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem — the need for caution is obvious. As The Wall Street Journal disclosed, US embassies across the world are on alert for protests. But Mr Trump must not allow himself to be pressured by Arab leaders warning of “a catastrophe” if, as the first stage in the process of relocating the embassy, he formally declares US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Middle East’s only functioning democracy.
Palestinian leaders claim such recognition would “close every door to the continuation of a serious peace process”. The incontrovertible reality, however, is that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for seven decades, with Jewish ties to the city dating back millennia. The real barrier to peace talks is the Palestinian leaders’ refusal to recognise that reality, just as they refuse to recognise Israel’s right to exist.