Trump thinks he is a friend of Israel? He has just screwed Israel out of any chance for a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Urged on by the arch Zionists like Kushner he came to believe that the status of Jerusalem was the Gordian Knot blocking movement toward a peace settlement. In the best "Art of the Deal" fashion he has now acted to remove this issue frozen in amber from the negotiating table in the belief that this will restore fluidity to the situation. IMO he is wrong. This is not a business deal.
The difficulty is that Al-Quds (The Holy) i.e., Jerusalem means far, far more to the Muslims than he understands, or that anyone of significance in the US government evidently understands. Jerusalem is for the Muslims God's Holy City, as holy in its utter possession by God as Mecca and Medina. Have we missed the fact that the overseas intervention force of the IRGC is called the "Quds" force? The Palestinian brigade fighting alongside the SAA is the "Quds Brigade." Years ago I was in Riyadh with a delegation of rich American Jews, all of them "soft" Zionists. At the US Embassy they asked if Saudis cared about Jerusalem and were confidently told that the Saudi interest was minimal. We went to the foreign ministry where I told the minister, Saud al-Feisal, what had been said at the embassy. He grew visibly agitated and told us that that was certainly not the case and that his family and government would NEVER abandon the holy city. On the same trip we were hosted for dinner and a chat by the "Young President's Club" (whatever it was called). These were relatively young men who had made a lot of money even by Saudi standards At the panel discussion after the meal I raised the same point. Several cried out "what did you say?" So, I repeated it in Arabic. There was a moment of silence and then a mighty tirade from around the room as these billionaires made it clear that they would never accept that their government should give up the right of the 'Umma" to Jerusalem.
The Catholic Church believes in patience as a virtue. It continues to discreetly maintain that the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 is the only legal status established for Jerusalem. That partition made Jerusalem an international city under UN control. The Church will maintain that position while waiting to see if Israel lasts as a country for more than a couple of hundred years.
So now we will see – Will there be violence? Will the Arab states adjust their relations with regard to Israel? Will Turkey call for action against Israel at the OIC meeting that Erdogan has called for at mid-month? Will the Muslims ever trust the US again to act as an honest broker? Dennis Ross badly damaged our credibility. Is it completely gone – perhaps forever? Will the Muslims accept Zionist possession of the Holy City? We will see. pl