They dedicated the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem today.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was all smiles. So were Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. So was mega Republican campaign donor Sheldon Adelsen. And so were others in the large crowd.
There was a good bit of unhappiness at this occasion. Palestinians died today while trying to enter Israel from Gaza. There were riots. Protests mounted all across the country and the region.
The way I see it, peace between Israel and the Palestinians appears farther away — not closer together.
Donald J. Trump vowed to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem while he ran for president. Once elected, he delivered on the campaign pledge. This move, though, flies in the face of what most of our allies wanted.
Jerusalem happens to be a holy city for Jews, Christians and, oh yes, Muslims. Go to the Old City and you find it divided into four quarters (the Armenians comprise the fourth quarter of the walled city).
Inside the old walled city you find the Western Wall, the Church of the Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock. All three sites symbolize the three great religions I just mentioned.
The symbolism of the embassy relocation has inflamed tensions between Jews and Muslims.
Which makes me wonder: What in the world did the president expect would happen when the day arrived finally for the embassy to open for business?
Isn’t the presidential son-in-law, Kushner, supposed to be the lead guy on this peace initiative? How in the world does the region achieve the long sought after “two-state solution” with an independent Palestine function alongside Israel with this kind of violence erupting?
I am afraid today’s events have taken the world a large step away from peace in the Holy Land.