"Realities on the ground": Jerusalem decision debated


President Trump announced Wednesday he was making the “long overdue step” to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It’s a move that sent shockwaves around the world.

Dani Dayan, the current consul general of Israel, praised Mr. Trump’s announcement to CBS News’ Elaine Quijano. Dayan said Mr. Trump is “completely right — Jerusalem is the capital of Israel for 70 years, the capital for the Jewish people for 3,000 years.”

Dayan insisted there would be “no change on the ground,” but Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, disagreed.

“But the truth of the matter is because you have such a dramatic imbalance of power between a very strong Israeli state and a stateless Palestinian people – one side, the Israelis, is the only side capable of creating these realities on the ground,” Munayyer said. 

Munayyer said that the United States has attempted to act as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians in the peace process, but Mr. Trump has now “reversed that position.” 

“The very few people who still believed that the peace process moderated by Washington would result in a just peace — that is not going to happen,” Munayyer said.

As for the reaction in the U.S., CBSN political contributor Molly Hooper of RealClearPolitics noted that Mr. Trump’s former strategist got the biggest applause at a rally in Alabama when he said Mr. Trump would move the embassy to Jerusalem. 

“It plays well with his base,” Hooper said.

Yahoo! News political reporter Hunter Walker also noted that there is some pretty broad support in Congress for this move, although some lawmakers did note it could lead to violence.

Both Hooper and Walker agreed, though, that this move could take several years. 

Dayan had said earlier there is no deadline for the U.S. to move the embassy to Jerusalem. “We would to like to welcome an American ambassador in Jerusalem as soon as possible but it’s an American decision,” he said. 

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