Is there anything that Donald Trump will not do? Today, he blunderbussed his way into Jerusalem and pushed the detonator on Middle East peace. Although Saudi Arabia, Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Iran, and the Palestinians urged the U.S. president to restrain himself, they might as well have been spitting in the wind. Then, Pope Francis had some harsh words for Trump.
Trump decided to unilaterally declare Jerusalem the capitol of Israel and began motions to move the U.S. Embassy to the city, thus showing he had no grasp of the history of the area. The issue has been a delicate diplomatic balancing act for seven decades.
Between Wednesday’s actions and assigning his young inexperienced son-in-law to the area’s peace process, the president expressed his utter lack of information or concern. Unfortunately, when it comes to playing to his born-again base, Trump will do anything.
The Palestinians’ senior representative in Britain, Manuel Hassassian gave a dire warning, The Los Angeles Times reported:
‘He is declaring war in the Middle East — he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims.’
At the end of his weekly general audience, Pope Francis urged everyone to honor the United Nations’ resolutions regarding the city, which the Jews, Christians, and Muslims hold sacred, saying:
‘I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.’
The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman warned 45 in a phone call Monday, CNN reported:
‘Any announcement prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region.’
The Holy See called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday to talk about the crisis. Just prior to Trump’s announcement about Jerusalem, the Pope urged the U.S. president to respect the “status quo.” He said doing otherwise would inflame world conflicts.
The Vatican stands behind the idea of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has urged both sides to share Jerusalem as they work through a peace process.
Israel wants the entire city as its “united and eternal” capitol, and the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capitol of their future state. Trump could have avoided a crisis by stating Israel could place its capitol in West Jerusalem.
Reuters reported that Pope Francis told the thousands of people before him:
‘I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days (and hoped) wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts.’
The Vatican commented on Jerusalem in 2012, calling for:
‘An internationally guaranteed special statute (for Jerusalem for) safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, (and) respect for, and freedom of, access to its holy places.’
Prior to giving his statement to the public and before Trump made his disastrous announcement about Jerusalem, Pope Francis had a meeting with a group of Palestinians to discuss an inter-religious dialogue between their two religions. The Pope said:
‘The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind and also in civil society.’
He told the group of Palestinians:
‘The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be.’
The Holy Father signed the Vatican’s first treaty with the “State of Palestine” in 2015.
Featured Image via The Hill’s Twitter Page.