President Donald Trump granted U.S. recognition to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, veering from decades of U.S. policy and launching an uncertain chapter in Washington’s decadeslong quest for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Mr. Trump also ordered the State Department to begin moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, criticizing predecessors from both parties for not taking that step before now.
His decision delivered a decisive U.S. affirmation of Israel’s view of its place in a tumultuous region and also allowed him to begin to fulfill a campaign promise to core supporters at home.
“This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement,” Mr. Trump said in a short address at the White House. “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”
Mr. Trump also addressed concerns that his announcement risked prejudging the outcome of negotiations, saying that many details must be worked out between Israelis and Palestinians, including boundaries in Jerusalem. He also said the U.S. would support a two-state solution—including a separate state for Palestinians—that he had previously declined to endorse.
Many aspects of Mr. Trump’s embassy move, a process that will take several years, were known in advance of his address. But his argument that…