Donald Trump rocked the Middle East with his unilateral decision to decree Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. He followed up his first jarring announcement with another kick to the Palestinians kidneys.
As if he was merely making an aside, the president tossed off a few words about a two-state solution, ABC reported:
‘The U.S. would support a two-state solution, if agreed to by both sides.’
Trump said he was fulfilling a campaign promise:
‘My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.’
He went on, calling it a:
‘…long overdue step to advance the peace process. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver.’
The man in the Oval Office continued:
‘Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and beliefs.’
Trump also fortified his clear bias toward Israel when he said that the United States would move its embassy from the current capitol of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus setting America’s commitment in cement.
Current law requires Trump to sign a waiver keeping our country’s embassy in Israel’s current capital until his new embassy opens in Jerusalem. The move would be time-consuming, taking years due to the antiquities that must be removed.
Trump has been treating the event like kicking off a new hotel with his golden shovels. He said:
‘(Hiring) architects, engineers and planners (begins) immediately. (The new embassy) will be a magnificent tribute to peace.’
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement following Trump’s announcement:
‘The State Department will immediately begin the process to implement (moving the embassy). The safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority (and the department) implemented robust security plans.’
A senior Trump administration official said:
‘While we understand how some parties might react, we are still working on our plan which is not yet ready. We have time to get it right and see how people feel after this news is processed over the next period of time.’
Born-again Christians consider Trump’s move part of a Biblical prophesy:
One official softened worry over threats of violence to citizens overseas and said U.S. security agencies were involved in the decision. They will provide additional security as needed:
‘We’re obviously concerned about the protection of U.S. citizens, U.S. officials anywhere in the world.’
Trump called for:
‘Calm, moderation, (and) for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect.’
Pope Francis was meeting with a Palestinian group of religious and intellectual leaders:
‘I cannot keep silent about my deep concern over the situation that has arisen in recent days and, at the same time, a heartfelt appeal so that everyone would be committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.’
Another U.S. official commented on Donald Trump’s mood. He said the president was optimistic that his “peace team” led by his diplomatically inexperienced son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was making progress:
‘He’s encouraged by the progress his peace team has made so far, I know a lot of that progress isn’t visible, I think that’s one of the things — I know he believes and I know the peace team believes — it’s partly because that progress is not visible that they’ve been able to make so much progress.’
To hear the president’s entire speech, check out this video below:
Featured Images via Getty Images/Mark Lyons.