Divided views in Dublin over Jerusalem

Irish Foriegn Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Irish Foriegn Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Irish government has lamented that Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel runs counter to the UN aim of making the city a joint capital with a state of Palestine.

However Dublin based group, the Irish Christian Friends of Israel, welcomed the move, describing it as “a long overdue step”.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said: “It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council Resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine.

“If the peace negotiations are to be successful, this will happen at the end of the process, when the full set of compromises has been worked out.”

He added that the US action was “premature and ill-advised” and unhelpful to efforts to reach a resolution of the Middle East Peace Process.

Along with many other international leaders, he said, the TD has conveyed his concerns to the US Government.

“Ireland remains fully committed to supporting both parties to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the Middle East Peace Process, something which is essential for Israel to secure its future, and for Palestinians to enjoy their full political rights.”

But Paddy Monaghan, of Irish Christian Friends of Israel, welcomed the “courageous landmark decision” to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem.

“This is a long overdue step which goes to the core of the historic national identity of the Jewish people,” he said.

“For seven decades now Jerusalem has served as the capital of the reborn state of Israel. Israel also has established a proven track record as the proper custodian of Jerusalem’s many holy places with freedom of access for all faiths

“We are encouraged that already the Philippines and the Czech Republic are also considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem. Would that the Irish Government would also consider this!

“We urge all our friends to continue earnestly praying for the peace of Jerusalem,”