Jakarta. The United States’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel holds no validity and threatens the peace process between Palestine and Israel that has been going for generations, new Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al Shun said in Jakarta on Friday (15/12). The ambassador called US President Donald Trump's announcement from the White House on Dec. 6 "reckless and irresponsible."
Trump's formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital also marked the beginning of a process to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the contested Holy City, thus reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy.
"We consider the US [move] to be illegal and, in fact, the claim does not alter Palestinians’s right to the land of Jerusalem. Trump’s statement about Jerusalem as Israel's capital city is a reckless and irresponsible action," Al Shun said in the "The Future of Palestine, the Road to Unity, Independence and Peace" discussion in Jakarta on Friday.
Al Shun said Trump’s controversial decision disqualifies the US from its leading role as a peace mediator, and disregards the ongoing peace process between the two countries, international law and human rights of the Palestinians.
"The claim is also a dangerous move that will plunge the region to a new period of violence and war," the former ambassador to Morocco said, adding the move will also encourage other countries to follow the United States to violate international treaties and laws.
Trump's announcement has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies as Jerusalem's status has been a stumbling block in decades of on-off Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Israel considers the city as its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day Israel-Arab War and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.
Not Religious Issue
Jordan's Ambassador to Indonesia, Walid Al Hadid, in the same occasion said the current crisis in Jerusalem is not about the religions of Islam or Christianity but "an issue of humanity" for all countries, groups and communities around the globe. It has also changed the geopolitical stance in the region.
"The Jerusalem crisis is the first in the history of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where many countries jointly condemn the United States… This latest geo-political shift can potentially be a turning point in the dynamics of the two countries’s conflict in the future," Al Hadid said.
Jordan has a special role as custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
Palestine’s Uncertain Future
Dino Patti Djalal, former Indonesian ambassador to the United States, predicted the future of Palestine will get worse before it improves as the ongoing protests, movement and condemnation to Trump’s announcement offer no concrete action for Palestine, including the recent summit of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul.
"The situation on the ground will get worse before it gets better because I sense there’s no clear direction despite what happened in the OIC summit, which is a great show of diplomatic unity. There isn't any clarity in terms of where the Palestinian process will go," Dino said.
A two-state solution, according to Dino, is the only acceptable approach for both countries. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political party Likud so far show no desire for peace talks to reach the two-state solution.
"As long as Benjamin Netanyahu is in power, I see no prospect for significant Israel-Palestine negotiations… Trump’s announcement has also solidified [Israel's] stance which they can leverage," Dino said.
PM Netanyahu applauded Trump’s move by saying it was "an important step toward peace."
Dino hoped the 13 factions in Palestine, including Hamas and Fatah, that have been in a political turmoil for decades, will soon reconcile to stabilize the country and reach their long-overdue independence.
An armed conflict between Islamist group Hamas and mainstream Fatah party resulted in the split of the Palestinian Authority in 2007. The main difference between the two biggest parties in Palestine lies in their attitude toward Israel. Hamas insists on using armed resistance, while Fatah prefers having peaceful negotiations with Israel.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations to "non-member state" from "entity," like the Vatican.
As of 2015, 136 out of 193 member states at the United Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, including China and Russia.