Essential Washington

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Reversing U.S. policy, Trump declares Jerusalem capital of Israel, orders embassy move


President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, upending decades of U.S. policy.

“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Trump said. “It is nothing more and nothing less than a recognition of reality.”

Trump’s decision, announced during a speech at the White House, makes good on an election campaign promise but quickly angered allies throughout Europe and the Arab world -- as well as the Palestinians, who seek to claim East Jerusalem as their capital in an eventual independent state.

Trump, who has also pledged to make the “ultimate deal” to resolve the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, risks putting those efforts in danger. He insisted, however, that he remains committed to a peace process.

It could take several years to actually move the embassy.

Trump said his administration would no longer follow the “failed policies of the past…. It would be folly,” he said.

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