Opinion: Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem does not help Israel

Jerusalem's Old City on Dec. 5.
(Oded Balilty / Associated Press)

To the editor: What President Trump could do for Israel is to reiterate [the United States’] strong support for a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and to insist that both Israel and the Palestinian leadership make territorial compromises rather than remain captive by their most ideological constituents. (“The best thing Trump could do for Israel is grow up,” Opinion, Dec. 4)

What Trump could do is override his unfortunate choice as ambassador to Israel and strongly oppose new settlements in the occupied territories. This has been the policy of every administration — Republican and Democratic — since 1967.

What Trump should not do is move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ahead of an Israel-Palestine settlement. This adds not an iota of security to Israel and will needlessly alienate Arab supporters of a settlement (see the current reactions to this proposal from Jordan and Egypt). What Trump should not do is enmesh the U.S. in the civil war in Syria where there is no effective good side.


Fortunately, Dan Schnur and the American Jewish Committee do not speak for many American Jews.

David Perel, Los Angeles


To the editor: Why all the fuss about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

The western part of Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the Jewish state was established in 1948. In 1967, East Jerusalem was won and occupied by Israel and is the only part of Jerusalem that is disputed by Palestinians and most of the international community.

So even if there were a peace agreement and that area was returned to the Palestinian Authority, having an embassy in West Jerusalem wouldn’t make any difference.

The United States should just be clear that it will locate its embassy in West Jerusalem. Any country or entity that opposes this is not being fair and reasonable.

Jeanette Shelburne, West Hills


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