TOMORROW, I will address the third annual Glasgow Friends of Israel conference at the Royal Concert Hall. The theme will be Building Bridges and Celebrating Coexistence and I will use the opportunity to commend Donald Trump’s decision to acknowledge reality, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as a momentous and sensible step in the right direction.

The decision will only hamper peace if others insist it should. President Trump made clear he was not “taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders”. He added that the United States supports “a two-state solution if agree to by both sides”.

Instead of using his recognition as a lever to promote their cause of seeing Jerusalem as their capital, Palestinians negate and condemn the decision. By this they play into the hands of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government; not wise.

They should instead see Mr Trump’s decision as the door to compromise on Jerusalem. I support and call for recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian condemnation reinforces the view of many Israelis that there is little to be gained by negotiating with them. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. The capital is not Tel Aviv. I have long supported calls to move the American embassy, and all others, to Jerusalem. Embassies should be in the state capital. I always found the debate somewhat hypocritical.

The US, the UK and other countries have Palestinian missions in East Jerusalem. They can have embassies in West Jerusalem. This won’t undermine a two-state solution that speaks of dividing Jerusalem as the city is already divided.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, which brought about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. In 2005, Israel evacuated Gaza and a year later Hamas took over. Israel still occupies the West Bank.

Yet Israelis live in denial, refusing to see that they subject another people to horrible reality, one they would not have liked to experience even for a day. Their self-denial enables them to continue a regime based on coercion and injustice: the occupation must stop. It is vile and inhumane. It undermines Palestinian existence, and it also undermines Israel. The occupation negates Jewish humanity. It negates freedom and democracy.

I yearn for an answer that would put an end to the occupation and bring closer the idea of a two-state solution. Israel will continue to suffer from terror and bloodshed as long as the occupation continues.

To resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there is a need for courageous decision-makers to seize the opportunities and make the most for their peoples. Mr Trump wishes to succeed where many people before him have failed. As a shrewd businessman, he knows that high stakes require high efforts and investment.

For such a momentous achievement of resolving a deep, entrenched conflict, three things are essential: an Israeli leader committed to peace; a Palestinian one committed to peace; and shared belief by both leaders that the time is ripe for peace.

Trust, good will and security will be needed. It will be a long and trying road but the potential reward is worth all the efforts: a new chapter in the history of Israel and Palestine in which children can grow up liking each other, recognising the many similarities that exist between them and replacing the sword with a plough.