Joe Biden on Jerusalem's Status: Still the Capital, but...

Published April 28th, 2021 - 07:26 GMT
Joe Biden
Trump had moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018. (Albawaba)

Despite Joe Biden's many decisions 'undoing' actions of his predecessor such as immigration rules, international agreements, and visa bans, the current US president seems uninterested in reversing Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem, but he may have tried to make a modification.

In May 2018, former US President Donald Trump officially moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition of the city as Israel's capital without making any references to the Palestinians share in East Jerusalem, changing by that the US historical stance on the matter and defying international laws. For many years, Trump faced accusations of ignoring the Palestinians as he closed the Palestinian mission in DC and cut aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees UNRWA.

While Joe Biden has actively reversed many of Trump's most controversial decisions as soon as he assumed office last January, it doesn't seem that the US policy towards Jerusalem's status is going to be reserved.

However, online people have noticed that on the day Biden entered the White House last January, the name of the official account of of the US Ambassador to Israel on Twitter was changed, hinting at Biden's attempt of keeping a "more balanced" ground when it comes to the city's status.

On Twitter, the Ambassador's account name became "U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza".

Yet, the account has witnessed a number of other changes over the last few months, as the US has not appointed an Ambassador to Israel so far. Social media accounts have largely referred to the embassy as the "US Embassy in Jerusalem" instead of "Israel," with a link referring to the PAU, the Palestinian Affairs Unit, which is a part of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.

Online discussions have concluded that such moves are showing that Biden's approach will recognize Palestinians again and reopen discussions over the two parts of Jerusalem and the possibility of East Jerusalem being a potential capital for a future Palestinian state.

Moreover, Biden's administration has also restored millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians over the last several months, as they pledged to reopen the Palestinian mission in the US capital, suggesting cooperation soon.

According to international laws, East Jerusalem which was militarily occupied during the 1967 war is considered a Palestinian territory, even though Israel had annexed it back in 1980, announcing all of the city as the country's "unified capita."


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