Today Donald Trump announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ordered the State Department to begin preparing to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.
This went against the advice of nearly all of our allies, threatens to throw the Middle East into more conflict, and delighted right-wing evangelicals here in the United States. Moving an embassy doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but as a person of Jewish heritage with family members who helped found the state of Israel and have served in the IDF, it’s a tremendous fucking monkey wrench in the peace process.
My father, two brothers, a sister, and their families all currently live not far from Jerusalem. Some embrace the idea of a two-state solution, others do not. Needless to say, this is personal, and Trump is only making things worse, not better.
Israelis and Palestinians have been part of a proxy war involving various Arab nations, Russia, and the United States for years.
Right-wing Israeli politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu also have the backing of American evangelical Christians who believe, among other things, that rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, along with a massive conflict in the region, is instrumental in fulfilling Biblical prophecies that will usher in the End Times.
At the regional level, the response was universally hostile, including from Saudi Arabia, a steadfast ally of the US. Riyadh said its continuing efforts to negotiate a peace deal, starting with a unification of the Palestinian leadership, would be damaged by the US plan. King Salman told Trump by telephone that a change to Jerusalem’s status would escalate regional tension, Saudi media reported.
A spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the US was “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight”.
The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said he had told the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, that Washington was making a grave mistake, and the whole world was against the decision. Turkey has suggested it might cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the embassy move goes ahead. (The Guardian)
The TL;DR version of this is that some Jews will convert to Christianity and accept Christ as their Messiah. There will be a huge war in the area of the Golan Heights involving many nations, many people will die, and then Jesus will return to Earth after defeating the Antichrist.
By moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the Trump administration is throwing a bit of hope to American evangelicals who see this as another step towards the End Times.
Trump claims that he makes the best deals. By declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, instead of leaving our embassy in Tel Aviv, he’s sabotaging the possibility of a peace deal in order to toss some red meat to his evangelical supporters. Vladimir Putin must be thrilled about his investment in tearing our country and diplomacy apart.