Thursday, February 2, 2017

Amb. Shapiro: Want to move the embassy? Here's how

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro is suggesting a blueprint for fulfilling the Trump administration’s promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem without harming the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace process.

In an op-ed he published in the Foreign Policymagazine, Shapiro wrote that he has “never believed that arguments for moving the embassy were groundless, or that it must await a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement”, but also said that the Trump administration must be careful with executing the plan if it chooses to go through with it.

To that end, Shapiro suggested five principles that President Donald Trump should adhere to if he chooses to move the embassy: Preserve a realistic prospect for a two-state solution, consult with key allies and neighbors, watch out for the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, plan it properly and be honest about the risks.

Shapiro urged Trump to ensure that the embassy would be in western Jerusalem so as not to prevent a Palestinian capital in the Arab neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.

“Before moving the embassy,” he wrote, “the new administration should begin a conversation with the Palestinians, who jealously guard their claims to Jerusalem. Add the Jordanians, whose King Abdullah has a special role, acknowledged by Israel, in safeguarding the city’s Muslim holy sites. Continue with the Saudis, whose legitimacy is tied to their leadership of Islam’s holiest sites, and the Egyptians, who will be key players in any effort to resolve, or even manage, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” READ MORE