TYLER, TX (KLTV) - President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise today and reversed nearly seven decades of American foreign policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and signaling the beginning of moving the U.S. embassy there from its current location of Tel Aviv.
Determining the status of Jerusalem has been a complicated negotiation. But Rabbi Neal Katz of Congregation Beth El in Tyler said this is a decision Israelis and Palestinians hoped to make themselves.
"The dream of what's been going on the past couple decades and past number of administrations has been the Israel's and Palestinians themselves would figure out the final status of Jerusalem. That is a very difficult nut to crack, and we've had a very difficult time moving the peace process forward for that purpose," he said.
Many world leaders have criticized President Trump's decision, saying it could hinder peace opportunities. Those who support the decision say it won't change anything on the ground diplomatically.
"The reason people who are opposed to it are upset is because they will argue, wrongly in my opinion, that it impedes the peace process and there's two considerations there. One: the peace process has been dead for a long time; two: no one is interested in the peace process," UT Tyler Professor Martin Slann said.
Yet, even those who recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel are short of saying it was a wise move.
"As a Jewish person, I'm grateful that Jerusalem has been declared a capital [...] but whether the U.S. moving the embassy there and declaring it as a capital renders the U.S. ineffective as a partner for peace, it remains to be seen," Rabbi Katz said.