President Trump announced a historic decision that has been many years in coming on Wednesday, declaring that the United States is now recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As a result, the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Below are some of his remarks, followed by a video of his complete speech:
We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that city as Israel’s capital.
Yet for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or refusing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city.
Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time.
After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement. It would be folly to assume that repeating the formula would now produce a different or better result. I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
While previous presidents have made this as a campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.
This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is necessary to achieve peace.
Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president, and the headquarters of many government ministries.
Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world.
Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality, and it is the right thing to do.
I am directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects and engineers so that, when completed, it will be a magnificent tribute to peace.
This decision is not, in any way, a departure from our commitment to facilitating a lasting peace agreement. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.
The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement.
Watch his complete, powerful announcement in the video below.