South African Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu rarely engages with the public due to his failing health. Yet, from his sickbed in a longtime battle with prostate cancer, he spoke.
“God is weeping,” he declared in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
In a brief press conference held on December 6, 2017, Trump explained that he is “delivering … a best course of action between the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Trump stated that the state department prepares to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Tutu, an international leader who fought South African Apartheid, an insidious system of racial segregation and oppression, appealed to the world to express disagreement with Trump’s “inflammatory and discriminatory” move.
Battle for the Holy Land
Muslims, Jews and Christians hold Jerusalem as a sacred city.
Since the state of Israel formed in 1948, conflict in the region ensues between Jews who relocated there after World War II and Palestinians living there.
Jews claimed that the region was their traditional home, so after the holocaust, British colonial authority earmarked a portion of Palestine territory for Jews to establish a national home.
Decades of war and conflicts between the groups and their supporters resulted in a contentious relationship causing global debates.
Ironically, as Jews settled and became the majority, millions of Palestinians fled or were dispelled, leaving the rest of the world divided. US government are supporters of Israel, while some of its citizens disagree.
To bring some type of accord, a host of governments and world bodies provided a two-state solution as amicable terms.
The idea drew up the concept of two independent nations coexisting in a shared space. A Jewish majority occupies most of the land while a strip of Gaza would be acknowledged as a small Palestinian nation-state.
The biggest issue is that both see Jerusalem as their capital city. Palestine agrees to the pact, but suffers from internal discord, while Israel begrudgingly agrees, it continues to encroach on Palestinian land.
In recent peace talks, Palestinians selected East Jerusalem as their capital if a two-state resolution succeeded; however, Trump’s announcement aligned in wholesale, the United States with Israel power.