International Community Must Put Pressure on US to Reverse Trump's Jerusalem Move: LIPI

Jerusalem's Old City on Dec. 5, 2017. (Reuters Photo/Ammar Awad)

By : Sheany | on 10:16 AM December 12, 2017
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Researchers at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, or LIPI, said on Monday (11/12) the international community should heap more political pressure on the United States to try to persuade US President Donald Trump to revise or take back his decision last week to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Hamdan Basyar, a researcher at LIPI’s Center for Political Research, said the United Nations Security Council must put pressure on the United States government as the decision clearly violated a number of the council's own resolutions, including the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 242 of 1967, which called on Israel to withdraw from territories it occupied during the Six-Day War, including East Jerusalem.

"They need to reinforce the position already expressed in their previous resolutions, including on the thorny issue of Jerusalem," Hamdan said.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting last Friday in response to Trump’s announcement, during which member countries widely condemned Trump's Jerusalem move, which also included a plan to relocate the American embassy to the highly contested holy city.

US ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan, said after a meeting with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi last week that the United States believes recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is "appropriate at this time," based on the fact that "major institutions of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem."

It is unclear whether UN Security Council members can do anything more than voice their denunciation and anger, as the United States is one of its five permanent members and has the power to veto any resolution on the issue.

But there is possibility that a stronger position may be adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which has 57 member countries, including Indonesia.

The OIC will hold an extraordinary summit to be attended by the members’ leaders on Dec. 12-13 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The organization has called for unity among Arab and Muslim countries to counter Trump’s Jerusalem move, and will likely show a united front after the OIC meeting.

However, there is some doubt whether the same countries will follow through with concrete actions, since Palestinian independence has not been foremost in the mind of governments in the Middle East in recent years.

"The real problem we have here is with Trump, so with the right pressure [from the international community], there is hope he might postpone or retract his decision to reduce tension," Nostalgiawan Wahyudhi, another researcher at LIPI, said.

According to Hamdan, Trump’s decision was the result of "strong Zionist influence" in the United States and "an attempt to shift attention" from its tumultuous domestic politics, where a probe into Russia’s interference in Trump's win in the 2016 US election is dominating attention.

President Trump in his headline-grabbing announcement from the White House last Wednesday cited a 1995 US Congress adoption of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which urged the relocation of the country's embassy to the holy city and recognize the city as Israel's capital.

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