Yesterday, the United States officially relocated its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The move was not one I applauded. The timing could not likely have been worse, and the result was disastrous. Donald Trump is playing a dangerous game on behalf of the nation he supposes to represent, the United States, and he is playing it with human lives as pawns.Jerusalem is a controversy in and of itself. Jerusalem has been fought over sixteen times in its history. It has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. Today, both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city contains sites sacred to both Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians. The embassy move has been considered in the past by former presidents Clinton, Bush (Jr.), and Obama, but each of those held back, because it has long been the policy of the U.S. to remain neutral in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and moving the embassy would place the U.S. squarely on the side of Israel … and against Palestine. Ilan Goldenberg, a Middle East expert with the Center for New American Security, said that where the U.S. is “supposed to be acting like the fireman, instead, we’re acting like the arsonist — we’re making things worse.”
The move of the U.S. Embassy signals far more than a simple relocation … it signals that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Think about that one … who gave the U.S. the right to decide where Israel’s capital lies? Nobody, that’s who. So why did we do it? Because he likes to keep campaign promises made to his base. Plain and simple. His base lobbied hard for the move, including evangelicals and, of course, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner lobbied for the idea as well.
The opening day festivities got under way, and it was a matter of minutes before trouble started. The region, already in a heightened state of upheaval, partly as a result of Trump’s other disastrous decision to renege on the U.S.’ commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, erupted into chaos. Well, technically, it should not have been considered chaos, as most of the Palestinian protestors were unarmed and were merely trying to get into Jerusalem. But then the Israeli military opened fire. As of this writing, there are at least 60 confirmed dead and more than 2,700 injured. No Israelis have been injured. Donald Trump and Benjamin Netahyahu must own each and every one of those unnecessary deaths.
Meanwhile, the Kushers had a great time …The utter ludicrousness of the scene was enhanced by the two U.S. evangelical pastors who took part in the opening ceremony. One, Robert Jeffries, was awarded Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week in November 2016 for his bigotry and hypocrisy . The man who once said that “Jews and Muslims will go to Hell”, yesterday said, “Israel has blessed this world by pointing us to you, the one true God, through the message of her prophets, the Scriptures, and the Messiah.” He also managed to get in a plug for Trump, saying Trump “stands on the right side of you, O God, when it comes to Israel.” Quick, somebody get me a bucket!
I am told that evangelicals believe an embassy in Jerusalem is a key step to the ‘end of days’. Not being of their faith, I fail to see how ‘end of days’ is seen as a good thing, but given the chaos the move created, it appears they may well have hastened that event, at least for many living in the Middle-East.
When Trump first announced his intention to move the embassy, he called it, “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.” Does this look like peace to you?