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To welcome or not welcome Trump's recognition of Jerusalem

VIDEO: Local take on Jerusalem being...

President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is being met with protests in the Middle East.

In his speech, the president also invited Israel and Palestinians to join the U.S. in the noble quest for lasting peace.

"I definitely welcome the president's announcement. I think he stated the obvious, stated the reality," said Mark Goldstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.

Goldstein says the reality is that Israel has rooted its government in Jerusalem, that Congress recognized it as Israel's capital city 20 years ago and called for the U.S. Embassy to be moved there.

But no action has been taken because Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as its capital.

As a compromise, those involved in the peace process have promoted a two-state solution.

"What President Trump said yesterday does not invalidate the efforts to create a two-state solution, in fact what he said is that certain elements of Jerusalem, its boundaries etc. are still going to be part of the discussion of when the Palestinians and the Israelis get together and have talks," said Goldstein.

But Muhlenberg College professor Brian Mello says recognition of an Israeli capital and moving the embassy was an incentive for Israel to engage in the peace process, an incentive that is now off the table.

"I think it's a major blow to the possibility even of trying to rekindle a peace process," said Mello.

Mello says the recognition fuels the belief that the U.S. is not interested in negotiating a permanent status of Jerusalem that includes a Palestinian capital.

Several Arab nations have condemned Trump's decision and France, Germany and England say they do not support it.

"It's a domestic political win that complicates our international politics," said Mello.


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