What You Need to Know About the US Embassy Move in Israel

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he and Vice President Mike Pence depart the U.S. Capitol after a meeting to discuss tax legislation with House Republicans in Washington, U.S., Nov. 16, 2017. (Reuters/Kevin Lemarque)
It's an important week in the Middle East—the future of Jerusalem is in the balance, and you should know what's at stake.

Monday marked six months since the last time President Trump signed a waiver delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every six months, the U.S. president is required by law to make a decision about the embassy.

Moving the embassy has been a centerpiece for candidate Trump and also for President Trump. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence told CBN's David Brody in an exclusive interview that the Trump administration is actively looking into moving the embassy.

But there are important realities on the ground, and the Trump administration is weighing its options.

Now, the president needs to make this important decision one more time. Many Middle-East observers expect he'll sign the waiver one more time.


Many believe if he moved the embassy now, it would undermine the peacemaking attempt led by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. That's one of the points Politico made when they interviewed Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.

Kushner has been meeting with Israelis, Palestinians and regional leaders like Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam (MSB) to forge a peace plan that would gain the support of many of the Sunni Middle East nations including Egypt and Jordan.

Leaders like Jordan's King Abdullah have been lobbying Trump to delay the move. Abdullah is concerned the move would foment violence by radical Islamic groups and destabilize his kingdom.

If Trump won't move the embassy now, there's a lot of buzz he will declare that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state on Wednesday, Dec. 6. If he does that, he'll really need to thread the needle if he is going to "recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state."

Here are a few reasons why:
1. If he limits recognition to "West Jerusalem," it would be meaningless to Israel. What matters to Israelis is "East Jerusalem" ... that is, the Western Wall and especially the Temple Mount. That's why the phrase "The Temple Mount is in our hands" meant so much in the 1967 Six-Day War. After more than 2,000 years, they finally had the most precious site in all of Judaism—the sites of the first and second and possibly third temples. "West Jerusalem" is not what they care about. If you want to know more, you really should watch CBN's docudrama, In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem.

2. Yet if he recognizes all of Jerusalem—East and West—as the capital of Israel, then the Palestinians will see any hope of them declaring East Jerusalem as their capital vanish. I don't see them relinquishing their claim to the Temple Mount, what they call the Harem al-Sharif, the "third holiest site in Islam." Some expect riots if Trump makes this declaration.

3. The key in all this might be Saudi Arabia. Will they stand with the Palestinians, or will they side with the United States and Israel? CBN News talked with a Palestinian expert today, and he expects, despite some public statements that Saudi Arabia won't rally to the cause of the Palestinians. The Saudis have a bigger consideration right now, the threat of Iran and its goals to dominate the Middle East.

Whatever Trump's decision, it's certain some will be satisfied and others will be upset. It's going to be an interesting week to say the least!  

But beyond the geopolitics, there are crucial prophetic and spiritual implications to all of this. The Bible says Jerusalem is "The city of the great King" (Ps. 48:2). Psalm 48:2 and Psalm 122:6 say to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."  Profound decisions are being made in Washington, Amman, Riyad and other great cities. It's important to pray for the future of the city God calls His own.

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