Arizona Professor fears Jerusalem decision destroys peace chance - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Arizona professor fears Jerusalem decision ends two-state solution prospects

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TUCSON - President Donald Trump is the first president in decades to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It could have major implications for the Middle East. 

"I don't think we can credibly talk about the possibility of a two-state solution anymore," UA professor Maha Nassar said. 

Nassar works in the Middle East and North African Studies department. She has family living along the Gaza strip and is angered by President Trump's declaration.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital," Mr. Trump said at the White House Wednesday. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality." 

"For years we've been told that Americans are brokers for peace," Nassar said, "they're mediators for both sides, well, President Trump's speech shows that's very clearly not the case."

At the Southern Arizona Jewish Federation on Tucson's Jewish Community Center campus, President and CEO Stuart Mellan takes a different approach. 

"One can only hope given the region which has been so explosive, the Israelis and the Palestinians can be motivated to come together," he said.

Mellan hopes Trump made the right call which fulfills a campaign promise. 

"I applaud his commitment to the state of Israel," Mellan said. "We should wait to see what comes and see if it  can bring us positive momentum." 

Nassar says her family has been unable to leave Gaza to go to Jerusalem or the West Bank due to a blockade.  Nassar worries in the short term this move by the U.S. Government could result in more violence in an already unstable part of the world. This professor argues it only adds to her family's heartache. 

"For them, this is an added insult to an already injurious situation that they face," Nassar said. 

Trump called for the U.S. embassy located in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem. That process could take years. 

No other country has its embassy located in Jerusalem. 

Sen. John McCain said he's long believed Jerusalem is the capital. McCain strongly believes Wednesday's announcement should be the beginning of a diplomatic strategic between Israel and Palestine to achieve peace. 

Rep. Martha McSally of Tucson tweeted her support for President Trump's decision. 

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