Kentuckians react to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capitol

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Protests have erupted across the world, after President Trump’s announcement the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.

Dozens were hurt as hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

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President Trump’s announcement reversed decades of U.S. policy on the issue, one that’s sensitive to many here in the bluegrass.

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel,” said President Trump.

That one sentence has caused both cheers and outrage from people across the world including right here in Lexington.

“This has been something I’ve been waiting for all my life. The notion that the U.S. Embassy should be in Jerusalem and that Jerusalem should be recognized as a capitol of Israel is something that’s been just obvious,” said Jonathan Miller, former Kentucky State Treasurer.

“The Palestinians would see that as already deciding that issue in any peace negotiation and that it could potentially open up more of East Jerusalem to settlement activity and become an obstacle to any future peace negotiations,” said Dr. Kathleen Montgomery, associate professor at the University of Kentucky.

The conflict over who lays claim to Jerusalem has been raging for decades with peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians continually starting and stalling.

But President Trump’s announcement has caused many on both sides to wonder where those peace talks will go now.

“He did not do this in the context of a greater peace agreement. He did not do it in close consultation with our allies in the region and so I’m concerned about the potential for violence and I’m most concerned this is going to put the breaks on a peace process which needs to be accelerated,” said Miller.

Those close to this issue say only time will tell.

“I think the most important thing is to see how this plays out in israel and the west bank over the next few days and in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Montgomery.