Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel

Trump’s speech in a nutshell:

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Trump said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

This is the actual presidential proclamation on Jerusalem.

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S PROCLAMATION ON JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

“My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” – President Donald J. Trump

RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM: President Donald J. Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

  • Today, December 6, 2017, President Trump recognized Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel.
    • In taking this action, President Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise of his and many previous Presidential candidates.
  • The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue.
    • President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995.  This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.
  • President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • Departments and Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region.

STATUS OF JERUSALEM: President Trump recognizes that specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem is highly sensitive and subject to final status negotiations.

  • President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.
  • President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.
  • President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.

COMMITTED TO THE PEACE PROCESS: President Trump is committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and he is optimistic that peace can be achieved.
  • Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not helped achieve peace over the past two decades.
  • President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, if agreed to by the parties.

It’s hard to find anyone outside of the far right and Benjamin Netanyahu who thinks this will being peace to the Middle East. It’s throwing fuel on a dumpster fire. Secretary of Defense Mattis is against it. Secretary of State Tillerson is against it. The Pope, NATO and the EU are all against it. So are many of our Middle East allies, like Saudi Arabia.

The move hurts the administration’s stated goal of brokering a Middle East peace agreement with “an open and honest dialogue with both sides.” It also creates new international tension, and increases the risk of violent protests. Indeed, a day before Trump even made the announcement, there were already signs that the move was straining diplomatic relations and the world was bracing for unrest.

But… this was a campaign promise. Fortunately, the embassy isn’t actually moving anytime soon. Trump will still sign a waiver allowing the embassy to remain in Tel Aviv, which has come up every six months since Congress passed a law in 1995 saying the embassy should be in Jerusalem. Finding a site for the embassy and working out all the logistical and security details is expected to take three to four years.

Repercussions have started already:

It should be noted that to Trump’s evangelical base, religious strife in the Middle East is a feature, not a bug. Theologian Diana Butler Bass has written an informative twitter thread on this topic.

For decades, conservative evangelicals have been longing for this recognition. They believe it is necessary in order to regain control of the Temple mount. That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times…They’ve been waiting for this, praying for this. They want war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies. For certain evangelicals, this is the climax of history. And Trump is taking them there. To the promised judgment, to their sure victory. The righteous will be ushered to heaven; the reprobate will be banished to hellfire.

This is why warnings from the rational world about Trump’s move raising tensions in the Middle East have the opposite effect on these people.

What do you think?