President Trump on Wednesday justified his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by saying the old status quo wasn’t getting the Middle East any closer to peace, even as many others warned that his move will increase the risk of violence.
“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said at the White House, referring to waivers from him and past presidents that have kept the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
“It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result,” Trump said. “Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
“We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past,” the president added.
Trump said the policy shift did not diminish his administration’s commitment to facilitating a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. U.S. officials would even support a two-state solution if both sides agreed to such a framework, Trump noted.
Trump also noted the government of Israel has operated out of Jerusalem for years, and said his recognition of it as the Israeli capital is a recognition of reality, and said it could be used to advance peace.
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