One of the most contentious potential moves by the Trump administration so far as been the proposed relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel.
The move, which could be announced as certain within hours, would move the current United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something that may not strike many in America as an earth shattering and momentous occasion. However, for Middle East observers and devout Muslims, this move would have grave implications as to the religious symbolism of the region.
By choosing Jerusalem, the Trump administration is making a de facto argument about the reality of the Israeli land claims in the region. Israel has long maintained that Jerusalem is their capital, a move that has been the subject of increasing violence and vitriol over the course of several decades. By backing up this claim with an embassy move, there are sure to be repercussions felt throughout the world as angry and possibly radicalized Muslims begin to protest.
This has U.S. embassies in other parts of the world bracing for the worst.
“The U.S. government’s diplomatic staff braced for violent protests around the Muslim world as speculation mounted that President Donald Trump planned to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
“Trump’s stated intention to relocate the embassy has been met with anger in the Arab world for months. The move is controversial due to the city’s significance to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Diplomats fear these tensions will come to a head if Trump follows through on his campaign pledge.
“The warning of violence came in the form of two classified cables to staff in the past week, according to Politico.
“The State Department had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing. Employees at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, and the U.S. consulate in Istanbul declined to comment on the matter. Jerusalem police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld was not available for comment.
“’The impending Jerusalem announcement has me very worried about the possibility of violent responses that could affect embassies,’ one State Department official told Politico. ‘I hope I’m wrong.’”
The move, which will seemingly coincide with the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, comes at a time in which radical Islamic organizations are already planning to escalate their anti-Christianity violence.
In November, a number of propaganda pieces were released by ISIS and their allies which claimed that the caliphate organizations around the world would be targeting Time Square and The Vatican in the coming weeks. In their imagery declaring their intent to strike within New York City’s most recognizable intersection, the groups even used imagery of Santa Claus carrying a sack of explosives into the busy streets.