One of the guiding principles of international relations is that nations act out of their own self-interest.
So how does President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and eventually move the U.S. Embassy to the city advance American foreign policy objectives?
It doesn’t, according to analysts. Some also warned Trump’s decision could damage peace-building efforts in the Middle East as well as America’s credibility as a respected world power.
“It’s very difficult to imagine what U.S. interest it serves if you assume it has a basic interest in promoting a peaceful settlement to the conflict,” said Dana Allin, a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
“It flies in the face of his other goal of peace in the region,” said Leslie Vinjamuri, associate fellow in U.S. and Americas program at the London-based Chatham House think tank. “If he does make this announcement it’s going to undermine U.S. interests to bring peace and stability to the region.”
Recognizing Jerusalem upends decades of American policy.
Trump has spoken of his desire for a “deal of the century” that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His announcement on Wednesday afternoon came at a time when his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is trying to nurture a new peace process into existence.
But analysts suggested Trump’s move will make it harder for the U.S. to claim neutrality.