Jerusalem

From climate deniers who base their rejection of science on biblical passages, to the “pastors” who excuse Roy Moore by pointing out that Joseph was older than Mary (I am not making that up), to bakery owners who defend bigotry as “sincere religious belief,” America is awash with zealots who debase both authentic religion and core American values.

Which brings me to the Evangelical Christian Zionists who represent a disproportionate percentage of Trump supporters.

It is tempting to see Trump’s decision to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem, a break with decades of American Middle-East policy, as a gift to the Evangelicals who believe that, in order to bring on the Rapture, Jews must be gathered in a secure Holy Land. (Lest anyone mistake this belief for pro-Jewish sentiment, they also believe that Jews who do not accept Jesus will burn in hell for eternity.)

However, The Brookings Institution has a different explanation.

A University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll (among a national sample of 2,000 American adults, fielded by Nielsen Scarborough November 1-6 and released at the Brookings Institution last Friday) found that 59 percent of Americans said they preferred that Trump lean toward neither side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In contrast, 57 percent of Americans, including most Republicans, said he is in fact leaning toward Israel. Our poll also shows that 63 percent of all Americans oppose moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, including 44 percent of Republicans.

Furthermore, Evangelicals aren’t all of the “Christian Zionist” variety.

Two-thirds of Evangelicals say Trump’s policy is already leaning toward Israel—a proportion that’s even higher than that of the rest of the population. Even on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the support is hardly overwhelming: While 53 percent of Evangelicals support the move, 40 percent oppose it.

So why is he taking a step that knowledgable advisors like Mattis are said to oppose, a step certain to destabilize one of the world’s most dangerous regions? Why take a step that will make his (ridiculous) promise of a “deal of the century” bringing lasting peace to the Middle East impossible?

From the outset, most experts understood that the “deal of the century” was most likely beyond reach and that its collapse may lead to President Trump lashing out with such moves as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and giving the green light to expand Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The fact that the White House may take a controversial step on Jerusalem now, before he even has a chance to unveil his plan, means one of two things.

The first is that his advisers live in their own bubble, reinforced by unprecedented inexperience. In fact, this is already a public fear. Despite deep partisanship on almost every issue, Americans come together on this issue: 81 percent of all Americans, including 71 percent of Republicans, prefer Trump relying on experts in his Middle East diplomacy, not on inexperienced family members and personal lawyers.

But there is a second possibility: That the Trump administration has already given up on its “deal of the century” and is looking for ways to pin the blame on someone else.

CNN agrees.

The ramifications of an embassy move would be felt far outside of Jerusalem. It would overturn 70 years of international consensus, and, many argue, would effectively signal the end of moves to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The status of Jerusalem is an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations between the parties, as part of a peace agreement. Moving the embassy is seen as America pre-judging that delicate issue. The obvious wisdom of leaving the issue open is why 86 countries have embassies in Tel Aviv–and none have embassies in Jerusalem.

In 1995, in response to intense lobbying by “pro-Israel” interests (including those Christian Zionists),  Congress passed a law requiring America to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every President since then, Republican or Democrat, has refused to move the embassy, citing national security interests. Every six months, each of those Presidents has used a presidential waiver to circumvent the embassy move.

 

A number of American Jewish organizations have criticized Trump’s decision, accusing the President of ignorance and of ‘irresponsible’ decision-making. Polls show only 20% of American Jews supporting this decision.

The eruptions throughout the Arab world that have already occurred as a result of Trump’s rash, uninformed announcement–and likely future reactions that will endanger Israel and trigger more violence– are among the many negative consequences of electing a profoundly unfit, uninformed, mentally-incompetent narcissist to the Presidency.

55 thoughts on “Jerusalem

  1. He’s not ONLY mentally ill. He’s long been intellectually lazy and devoid of any curiosity about history and how the world works that he has become dumb by self-affliction. I know of a number of people like that. None of them are among those who write and comment on this blog.

    “Several advisers said he did not seem to have a full understanding of the issue and instead appeared to be focused on “seeming pro-Israel,” in the words of one, and “making a deal,” in the words of another”.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-had-for-months-been-determined-to-move-us-embassy-to-jerusalem/2017/12/06/f721e2ba-dab7-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.704335203262

  2. Thanks Marv. You’re, of course, absolutely right and as an old Navy guy I stand by to take your orders. This whole Administration needs to be discarded and soon. What other area of the world does the Trump/Bannon/Kushner triumvirate have its sights on next? We are going to pay a frightful price if we don’t “nip” this “blight” on all of us and also the world “in the bud” ASAP!!!

  3. JoAnn,

    It all revolves around be re-elected. These people would sell their souls to be re-elected if they haven’t don it already. That Trump base threatens them everyday with Bannon cranking things up as needed to have them twist in the wind as needed. The rub is that there are no real statesmen any more like we used to have or perhaps the veneer that was draped over equally bad people that existed then is no longer covering those that are around today. I prefer not to think about that just to preserve my own sanity but this country is in very deep trouble and the electorate, all of us, has to develop a spine and retake what is our responsibility anyway since we elect these fools and we need to stop doing it.

  4. Tom,

    “Thanks Marv. You’re, of course, absolutely right and as an old Navy guy I stand by to take your orders.”

    We need to organize. Let’s do it together. An army/navy joint action. It all gets down to hitting the target. As an old Army artillery officer, I know when a target is sufficiently oriented. We’re in a position to fire our “political shells” RIGHT NOW.

    Let’s FIRE FOR EFFECT on the DECEPTION SHIELD. Once that falls, our pro-democracy forces will be able to go on the offense.

    If we take the lead, I believe even bigger guns will quickly join in on the barrage with us.

  5. Trump’s bogus support of Jews was made clear by his not inviting Democrats to the Annual White House Hanukka Celebration, allowing two of his grandchildren to light the menorah. I assume they were his Jewish grandchildren whose parents are Ivanka (who converted) and Jared Kushner. Does this tell us they belong to the Evangelical Christian Zionists and possibly the reason for his decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel? That waiver should have been repealed decades ago but was left to be used by our Fool-In-Charge. Can NOT inviting Democrats to what has been traditionally a bipartisan Hanukka celebration, be considered anti-Semitic or did those Jewish grandchildren cover his butt on that account?

    His offensive “honoring” of Pearl Harbor Day was embarrassing to watch from my home; can’t imagine what the feelings were for those few remaining, aged WWII veterans forced to stand behind his comfortably seated butt as he referred to that terrible day as “it must have been a wild scene”. He then showed the aged standing veterans of that horrible day his signature and asked if he spelled his name correctly.

    Melania got the date of Pearl Harbor day wrong by one month. No need to comment on this error by our foreign, former stripper “first lady”.

    Will the government stay open beyond the two week extension or will the Republicans AGAIN shut them down…just in time for Christmas, Hanukka and a number of other religious celebrations this time of year? If we survive the year 2017 and what appears to be a bleak holiday season with enough strength to continue the fight in 2018 to “clean House” and Senate of the “deconstructive” members of Congress?

    Happy Holidays!

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