'President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and intent to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is sure to harm the United States. A product of decades of pressure by Israel and its US lobby, the move is an incremental step toward pressuring the US to confer legitimacy on all of Israel’s territorial acquisitions accomplished through war.
US presidents refrained from moving the embassy to Jerusalem because of commitments to UN Security Council Resolution 478, passed in 1980, which rejected Israel’s declaration that Jerusalem was its “complete and united capital” because East Jerusalem was territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, a war that Israel started. Parties to Resolution 478 committed to withdrawing diplomatic missions from the city. This created pressure on Israel to relinquish ill-gotten territory and negotiate peace. The US supported that goal since 1967 through the unanimous UN resolution 242, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories captured in 1967. The original 1947 UN partition plan called for Jerusalem to be “internationalized.”
In the 1980s, Israel affinity organizations such as AIPAC and the ADL went into overdrive lobbying for a “move the embassy” law that would force the US to legitimate Israel’s claims on the city. As the Oslo peace process loomed in the 1990s aimed at negotiating “final status” issues such as Jerusalem, expulsed Palestinians’ right to return to their properties, and recognizing borders, the Israel lobby sought to preempt negotiations by passing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, drafted by the Zionist Organization of America and AIPAC. The bill, like most Israel lobby legislation and legislative rules, was coercive. US State Department overseas construction was to be defunded until the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem. No legitimate US-driven interests informed the creation or passage of the bill. Rather, it was yet another achievement of the $6 billion Israel lobby’s coordinated political campaign contribution network. That network now requires any serious candidate pledge their fealty to the Israel lobby’s program, even before running for office.'
Read more: The Israel Lobby’s Role in US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
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