US Embassy Move to Jerusalem Driven by Religion


On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, United States moved its Embassy to Jerusalem, after President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision is popular with the many conservative and evangelical Christians who voted for Trump and Pence. Many of them support political recognition of Israel's claim to the city. The U.S. State Department referred to the move as "historic step", but the consequences of this political act can be huge. Somewhere around forty Palestinians protesters were already killed in recent skirmishes with police.

The history of this region, particularly of Jerusalem, is very complex and all of the three Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have their reasons why they find Jerusalem a sacred place. Jews consider Jerusalem their ancestral homeland and spiritual capital, and, when outside of Jerusalem, Jews are still obliged to pray facing the city. Jerusalem is the place where Jesus preached and where he was crucified in the end; also, Christians believe that Jesus' tomb is under the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. And for the Muslims, Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock shrine is the place where Muhammad rose to Allah, after he travelled to Jerusalem on a magical steed on his final night.

Keeping all of this in mind, every move made in this region should be completely thought through, like in some very important game of chess. Unfortunately, it looks like some of the biggest players at this flammable chess board are rushing their moves and these moves are threatening stability, which is already disturbed.

Israel has long encouraged United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem and show its political support to Israelis claims. The U.S. is supporting Israel and it is the main protector and financier of Israel, but former U.S. presidents rationally refused to make the move of such symbolic importance to multiple people in order to avoid turmoil. But the current U.S. president has decided to publicly show the world that the United States are backing up the Jewish state over Arab interests. Donald Trump made a promise that he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital during his 2016 election campaign, and now with the embassy move he is making a further step to that direction. This decision is also raising Trump's popularity among Jewish voters in the United States.

This may seem to be a political move but it has roots in religion and it reaches deep into the long bloody past between these three religions. The first casualties have already been inflicted and we can only hope that there will not be an escalation of this conflict.

Photo Credits: Wikimedia

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