Is moving the US embassy to Jerusalem good or bad for the US?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Thursday, December 7th

Tommy talks with Bruce Jentleson, a Duke University Professor and Middle East expert, about President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Today of course 76 years ago the anniversary of Pearl Harbor we're gonna acknowledges that we talked to Robson Tino from the thumb. And the president yesterday. Donald Trump recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. And announced plans to relocate the US embassy there are some money Texan in and said the president usually shoots himself in the foot. This time he knocked it out of the park. Our guest is Bruce generals say and he is a a friend of virus sees. Being involved with the Middle East peace process and he's been there and he's done at Middle East expert do get diversity professors at the State Department from 2009 to 2011. He worked on the Middle East peace process in the 1990s in the Clinton administration in the morning Bruce. I'm also thank you for taking time with us. Let's put this in context I guess. In terms of Israel. Claiming Jerusalem as their capital does is go back to use some. Biblical interpretation. Or is it political both explain that to was if you will. Yeah I mean there are some interpretation pickle that you know to the Bible like a lot of aspects of you know Jewish history goes way back almost 6000 years. Preferred political immediately the State of Israel was founded. It's great did their job at Washington David and Gloria and he basically said that Jerusalem it's something we're gonna have to work out. As part of its part the piece of their neighbors and did not insist that it had to be. The capital. Israel just right up the bad news it it would require diplomacy. But but tell me and I just one related ground war to this if we can Bruce and Jerusalem is. It's because of the religious significance it's ironic in a way one of the most. Quotation marks holy places in the world is also one of the more violent. Homily the history of Jerusalem itself three different religions claim that to be their birthplace is Eric. Yet through you know holy places for christianity in forging it is and for Islam all. And not only in the same city but like very close to each other physically. And so it's made it very difficult and promote Israel became independent in 1948. To the 67 war. Of the holy places for Judaism are part of of the city that was occupied action by the Jordanians. Israel what it back in the 67 war through its victory and and and the occupation. And took the peace process really started in 1993. Really almost a quarter century now everybody's had a sense that this is one of the most difficult issues. The peace process itself is incredibly difficult. But Jamaica's. A position like president attempted to exit really difficult situation and makes it even more difficult doesn't it make a lot of policies and. Am not trying to be stupid here bruised as I can do that without trying but Jerusalem. Goes back to. What people interpret the Bible is saying is assault driven by the Bible and and and history and people claiming it because I believe that you don't Wailing Wall is where the the temple was Jewish temple Bakken Roman times and America. Done on it and it didn't decide that's right and I think you know. Look who would be and so many ways people debate what the Bible really means in Judy ism. You know we debated among ourselves and Christian debated among their so between Jews Christians and Muslims. So there's no read it there's no absolute truth coming out of the Bible. Israelis and Jews have. That deep attachment spiritual to Jerusalem and wanted to be the capital. The question not if it should be the cap of Israel but how you make it the capital on ways and actually make Israel more secure not less secure and distanced. Really flies in the face of that. We're gonna get to consequences and a second so I I think bottom mom and I was asking is it. And maybe answer my question already is is this now foreign policy being driven by a peoples are sub groups interpretation of what the Bible says they are entitled to. That in politics I mean I think this was a blatant act by president trump to. A piece parts of his base namely some very wealthy donors boosters American donors. And it evangelical base which also has been supportive. Of Jerusalem being being under Israeli control and you know there's really not much reason to do this right now in any policy terms and whatever the biblical debate has been going around for a long time. It was a pretty pretty political move by the president at a time in which. He may want it distracts from other problems that he. I will move on to present day now that you've helped us establish how we got to hear I got to this point of first place we're talking about the president yesterday officially acknowledging that Jerusalem. Is the capital of Israel and only saying that eventually the embassy. Would be moved to bear some Bruce who did what's gonna be reaction and an area of the country. In that area the world brother and do you desist benefit the United States and anyway. The one indicator of the risks are opposed to United States is our embassies. And consulates all around the world are on the highest state of alert today since that since the day the Iraq War started. It's they can't just blame you know Islamic terrorist tradition of that university every world leader. Could impress the Arab world may approve and friendly to trump spoke out against it Pope Francis has all the Europeans. Chinese and Russians actually if not Tuesday no it actually helps them so. You know such as in America we like to think what we know we're doing we don't care and any others say but it. We have that that many different types of leaders and peoples around the world are saying it doesn't expand Chicago adolescents. Well and that's what in people and take this is trumped bashing and it's not I'm having a foreign policy discussion. But it seems like he is the president kept talking about putting America first putting America first and putting America first. What do we get out of this is a country. That's the other thing people been saying here here's someone who says he's a great deal maker. And if you're gonna do this for the Israelis. You know not just at the at a negotiations but like outside. You're really wanna ask for something major return like yes it prime minister Netanyahu. To freeze settlements. Maybe dismantle the ones that. You know are the most problematic. If an ashtray I mean basically gave away huge concession. And it's important to say by the way that people who support Israel and believe insecurity like I do. Can be critical it's it's not you know Israel right or wrong so. As we deal it's hard to see what the president that it is rather than throwing something you know torture and so on domestic political place. So what are some of the things Mamie backlash you're likely to see and I guess army phrase it this way Bruce. What really good things they can come of this what are the bad things that could come of this. To the bad things that today is it is is to begin his seventh and a lot of the Islamic world Friday prayers are doing reports since being. You know from various news sources about violence you know interspersed world. It and it may be well it may be another inspiration to terrorists. You know to attack sort assets overseas. I really can't see a lot of that is not just say that is tradition of partisan. It makes the Middle East peace process which is really hard. To get to peace that much harder and you know some supporters have been saying take issue up to take a tumble politics Israel to table the way that. That the other side wants to walk away so I don't see any good. So absent a peace process we're likely to see a ring and I'm trying to lead you. Ramp up ovals violence and an area that has always going to be volatile make it even even more volatile and more violent. I think so and not just say the next couple days or week but I think it feeds into that makes the region more unstable. Makes a lot of things harder for the United States. A lot of countries around the world during his long list of things where they think. Transco zone way. In ways that hurt others you know and and it was it's longer and so. When you go to they can ask for something which you might really need to support of some others. In other community pretty skeptical like like any people would in normal relationship so. It's really in there you report that his advisors were pretty conservative Defense Secretary matters shouldn't. Generally master advised against this because it's going to be counterproductive to the United States as well as for at least. Presenting you and Andrew we let you go. I wish you good good holidays and you and the listeners and happy new year and maybe we'll we'll see more peace. In the coming year. Well don't get it yourself we might talk to you again between now and thank you Bruce. Bruce channels and I guess Middle East expert.