Embassy Move is “Red line” for Muslims

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It appears more and more likely that the Trump administration will fulfill a campaign promise (passed by law on October 23, 1995, and bypassed by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama) to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy is a prize long sought by the Israeli government, as it shows that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something that the international community has long opposed; insisting that this decision must be part of final negotiations with the Palestinians.

While Israel is celebrating the news, Muslim countries are gearing up for mass protests and calling others to follow suit. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation issued a statement that its 57 member states will sever ties with any state or country that moves its embassy to Jerusalem. The Palestinians are threatening another intifada and say such a move will incite violence. The Palestinian leadership in the US said Tuesday that they will “stop contacts” with the U.S. if Trump goes forward with the change.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “red line” for Muslims.

Israel has had sovereignty over Jerusalem since the 1967 war, when Egypt, Jordan and Syria joined forces to push the tiny country “into the sea”.  In a stunning upset, Israel won the war, and took control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.