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Praise, caution and concern: How newspapers reacted to Trump’s Jerusalem move

UK News | Published:

Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital prompted columns from papers across the globe.

The news of Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel made headlines around the world.

As leaders across the globe made their opinions on the shock move clearly known, so too did the newspapers which carried the story.

For Israel’s media outlets, the announcement marked an historic day in a decades-long conflict.

The Jerusalem Post declares the news on its front page, reporting that “after 70 years”, the US has “recognised Israeli sovereignty”.

In an analysis piece, the paper says Mr Trump’s decision went “beyond righting a historical wrong in denying the Jews the right to determine where their capital is”, and gave the diplomatic process a “badly needed jolt” by forcing people to “rethink long-held assumptions that have led nowhere”.

The author writes: “Over the last 24 years, since the beginning of the Oslo peace process, certain tenets have come to be accepted as truths: that the only solution is a two-state solution; that there can be no long-term interim agreements; that dozens of settlements will have to be removed; that a future Palestinian state must be free of Jews; and that Washington cannot recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital until there is a final peace deal.

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“Many will bewail ‘the impact this move will have on the peace process’ – except that the peace process has been stuck for years. And one of the reasons it has failed is because the same assumptions have been posited time after time after time.”

Over in America, the Washington Post takes a more cautious approach to the news.

In an editorial piece, the paper describes Mr Trump’s move as a “big risk”, although says it has “a certain amount of common sense on its side”.

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It states: “As Mr Trump put it, for the United States finally to accept that the Jewish state has its capital in Jerusalem is ‘nothing more or less than a recognition of reality’.”

“But Mr Trump is implicitly betting that previous presidents were wrong to worry about blowback in the Middle East and beyond,” it adds, saying: “Those who genuinely hope for peace in the Middle East can only hope that this preening display will, as the president predicted, produce positive rather than negative results.”

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May joined several other world leaders in criticising the move – and it seems many of the papers are of the same opinion.

The Daily Mail describes a “deep sense of foreboding”, adding: “This seems a reckless and needless provocation of Arab sensibilities, from which only danger can come – not least to Israelis themselves.”

And the Daily Mirror’s defence and security editor Chris Hughes writes: “At best, Muslims throughout the world may be offended that Trump has yet again ridden roughshod over their claim to the city. At worst it could spark a conflagration the likes of which we have not seen for years across the region and the world.”

For Sun columnist Rod Little, however, Mr Trump has “at last” “done something worthwhile” and says that other countries that refuse to accept recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s proper capital are “terrified of upsetting the Palestinians”.

He writes: “Some commentators say that recognising Jerusalem will set back the Middle East peace process. What peace process?”

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