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January 09, 2019

Reuters Falsely Links Jerusalem Embassy, Two-State Solution

Malcha TechPark.jpg
The Jerusalem office park which houses Guatemala's embassy

Multiple recent Reuters articles incorrectly report that moving the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a dramatic move away from the two-state solution. For instance, a Dec. 30 article, "Brazil moving its embassy to Jerusalem matter of 'when, not if': Netanyahu," (Dec. 30) reported about the possible Brazilian move:

Such a move by Bolsonaro would be a sharp shift in Brazilian foreign policy, which has traditionally backed a two-stated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That piece appeared in Arabic as well.

A Dec. 31 article, "Bolsonaro takes office in Brazil, says nation 'liberated from socialism," took an even more extreme line, saying a Jerusalem embassy move would be a "break" from the two-state solution:

As a clear sign of that diplomatic shift, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with Brazil’s traditional support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.

In fact, as is apparent from the cases of the American and Guatemalan embassies, relocation to Jerusalem is not a shift away from a two-state solution.

Daniel Shapiro, who served as Ambassador to Israel under President Obama, wrote in The Washington Post:

[N]othing about our embassy’s location there would prevent the emergence of a shared city with two capitals as part of a two-state solution. Perhaps inadvertently, President Trump’s decision has opened the door for much more frank discussion about an eventual Palestinian capital, and U.S. Embassy to Palestine, in East Jerusalem.

He explained:

West Jerusalem has served as Israel’s capital since the founding of the state, and no plausible two-state map would change that. Our embassy’s presence in the city reinforces the legitimacy of historic Jewish ties to the city, which are too often denied by Palestinians.

Indeed, as Reuters itself just reported, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently expressed openness to a two-state solution ("Pompeo says US open to 'two-party solution"):

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Monday he was open to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, saying a “two-party solution” was likely in his first extensive comments on peace efforts since taking the job last week.

In addition, as Reuters reported Sept. 26: "Trump says he wants two-state solution for Middle East conflict."

These lines are being written dozens of meters away from Guatemala's embassy in southern Jerusalem. There is no evidence that Guatemala does not support a two-state solution.

Thus, there is no linkage between the location of a country's embassy in Jerusalem and its policy vis-à-vis a two-state solution. The location of foreign embassies in Jerusalem does not preclude the future establishment of a Palestine state, even one whose capital lies in part of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Posted by TS at January 9, 2019 04:10 AM

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