In defiance of virtually every authority on Middle Eastern affairs, President Trump yesterday announced his intention to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem — a move that has threatened to exacerbate violence and eliminate any hope for peace in the foreseeable future.
Now, former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on how truly foolhardy and dangerous Trump’s move is.
“This fundamental shift in decades-old U.S. policy exacerbates tensions throughout the Arab and Muslim world, but we hope that protests can remain nonviolent,” Carter said in a statement.
“Any change to the status of the city without the consent of the Palestinians jeopardizes any prospect for peace,” he said. “East Jerusalem is a linchpin of Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own,” he warned.
For all of his weaknesses as president, Carter’s work on the relations between Israel and its neighbors was an unquestioned success. In 1978, Carter hosted the Camp David Accords between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, leading to a peace treaty between the two neighboring nations and ending three decades of wars.
By contrast, Trump’s move is expected to cause widespread bloodshed with no tangible benefit to any party as Hamas vows a “day of rage” tomorrow.
The 45th president would be wise to listen to the 39th. Unfortunately, “wise” is one word that has never been used to describe Donald Trump.