Bye Tel Aviv, hello Jerusalem

Trump orders the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

This past December President Trump said he wanted to move the U.S.embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, it has now been announced that Trump plans to move the embassy this May, when Israel will celebrate its 70th year as a country.

A CNN report titled, “Why moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is so controversial” discusses how Trump has caused problems by wanting to move the embassy. “If the United States moved the embassy to Jerusalem, it would mean that the US effectively recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That would overturn 70 years of international consensus, and many argue, would effectively signal the end of moves to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Ober Lieberman says. The fact that Trump knows  how his actions are affecting everyone yet is still executing them shows poor judgment. As president he should want to make all the world’s countries closer together rather than pull them farther apart.

It is important to keep in mind the history of Israel while this is happening. When looking at Israel’s past filled with conquering, warfare and violence with Palestinians this move is no small thing. It is clear that Israel has had problems with other Middle Eastern countries in the past and this could only make the situation worse.

It is interesting how Trump has the ability to move the embassy to Israel. “The US has never had its embassy in Jerusalem. If I could ask Trump a question I would ask him why does he feel the need to move the embassy? Our embassy has always been in Tel Aviv, I would want to know why he feels the need to make the move now.

Dr. Craig Wansink, Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Chair of the Religious Studies Department, said he does not agree with what Trump is doing in regards to moving the embassy. Wansink also taught the Conflicts in Ancient and Modern Israel course this past Winter Session. “President Trump’s vision to move the embassy does not seem to grow out of any kind of consistent policy either in terms of the Middle East or in terms of Palestinian and Israel challenges. So, it is very unclear what he is seeking to accomplish by doing so,” Wansink said.

In regards to his perceptions of Trump’s thought process in moving the embassy, Wansink said, “I really don’t believe that he’s familiar with the challenges there or the implications of that move … I’d say regardless if it were right or wrong to move the embassy to Jerusalem I think he did so in a manner that was not thoughtful.”

“I think one of the things that maybe stood out most to those of us who were on the travel trip to Israel, was how Christians in Israel were very much against this move and I think that is something that people in the United States don’t particularly recognize or understand. For me consistently that’s the sort of thing that stands out, what stood out for us on the trip is how Christians and Muslims together were protesting this,” Wansink said.

Farah Haidari