Trump to Destabilize Middle East by Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capitol

In one of the most thoughtless things he has done yet, Trump has decided to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel rather than Tel Aviv. This is a dramatic reversal that can only result in more violence and bloodshed in the region, while providing no benefit at all to anyone.

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President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defying warnings from other Middle East countries and some U.S. allies in a politically risky move that he insisted would not derail efforts to broker a peace deal.

But in a sign that the move could backfire, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Trump’s announcement as a “declaration of withdraw” by the United States from the peace process, according to the Associated Press.

In a midday speech at the White House, Trump defended his decision as “long overdue” recognition of reality given that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s parliament, supreme court and prime minister’s office. He argued that an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians has remained elusive for more than two decades even as his predecessors declined to recognize the contested Holy City as Israel’s capital.

“Some say they lacked courage, but they made the best judgment based on the facts as they understood them,” Trump said, speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room. “Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades, we’re no closer to a lasting peace agreement.”

No kidding. But pray tell, how is this going to do anything but make things worse? It provides not a single benefit to us. There’s nothing at all on the good side of the ledger to balance off the inevitable reaction — overreaction — to this decision. You can’t get closer to peace by promoting more anger and violence rather than less. But this is a classic Trump move — utterly thoughtless, without any concern at all for the ramifications of it, in defiance of what every policy expert on the matter, Republican or Democrat, has been saying for decades.

The only ones who support this, quite frankly, are American Christian righters, and their reasons are well documented. They are strongly pro-Israel because they need that nation to exist for their eschatological fantasies of the rapture to occur, and it leads them to bond with right wing Israelis who have the same mindset as Trump. They care only about posturing, not about thoughtful diplomacy. This is going to blow up in a big way, and I mean literally blow up.

Stephanie Saldana, an American journalist who lives and teaches in Jerusalem, immediately posted to Facebook about the fear she now has for her safety and that of her children. “It’s 6 a.m. I can’t get the courage to pour the milk for my kids’ cereal, to walk them to the school bus. I don’t want this day to begin. I don’t know how it will end,” she said. “Please keep us in your prayers. I can’t describe the sadness and anger I feel in knowing that a politician on the other side of the world is playing chess with the lives of my children, my neighbors, my friends, my city.”

Trump strides around the world like the proverbial bull in a China shop, but like the bull he doesn’t give a damn about the damage he causes. He isn’t the one who will pay the price. Others will, some of them with their lives.

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