US Trump administration should withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Kazuo Shii

Chair, Japanese Communist Party

Member of the House of Representatives of Japan

Tokyo, Japan

December 6, 2017

The US Trump administration on December 6 decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is an outrageous decision which violates UN resolutions regarding the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and hinders international efforts for a fair solution of the issue and for peace in the Middle East. The Japanese Communist Party strongly demands an immediate retraction of this decision.

The relevant UN resolutions, including the UN Security Council resolution 478 (1980), delegitimize Israel’s unilateral decision in 1980 which designated the entire city of Jerusalem, including the occupied territories, as its capital, concluding that such a decision is internationally unlawful and invalid. The UN General Assembly adopted resolutions seeking a peaceful settlement of the Palestine issue with overwhelming majorities. Supporting the establishment of a Palestine state and its peaceful coexistence with Israel, these resolutions note that the status of Jerusalem should be determined through negotiations. Although the US Congress passed a bill in 1995 to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, successive US administrations have since postponed putting it into practice.

The Trump administration’s act not just goes against the UN resolutions but also reverses the position taken by its predecessors. It will become a serious obstacle to the peace process in the Middle East and increase regional tensions. It is only natural that the international community, including the Palestinian National Authority and many Arab and European countries, is voicing harsh criticism against Washington.

The Japanese government has supported a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by achieving the peaceful coexistence of two states. The Abe administration should strongly urge the Trump administration to withdraw its reckless decision.

For the sake of peace in the Middle East, the JCP has called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied areas, realization of the Palestinian right to self-determination, including the establishment of their own independent state, and the mutual recognition of the right to exist. It has also demanded that the Japanese government recognize Palestine as an independent state. In defiance of the new adverse current created by the Trump administration, the JCP commits itself to further work for a just settlement of the Palestinian issue and other pressing issues in the Middle East.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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