President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has sparked clashes throughout the Middle East and especially in the occupied West Bank between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
Allan Pottash, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, says though the move has touched off violent protests, it has the potential to spark something significant.
“This is an opportunity for Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States to say, look we are going to make historic moves here, let’s all get on the same page,” Pattash tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Protests on the Israeli-Gaza border turned violent with one Palestinian reported killed.
While Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Pottash says now that Israel has received something it has wanted for some time, it needs to give something back.
“Israel, you have this opportunity to have the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, you now have to participate in this negotiations in a different way,” Pottash says.
The United States had remained neutral in the dispute over Jerusalem for decades. Israel has always considered the city its capital. East Jerusalem has been under Israel control since the 1967 war.
Approximately 330,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, as do about 200,000 Israeli Jews in a dozen settlements there, regarding as illegal under international law. An accord reached between Israel and Palestinian in 1993 left the final status of Jerusalem to be settled by future peace talks.
William Padmore, KLIN, contributed to this report.