Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump on May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images.
A State Department source tells TYT that some U.S. diplomatic officials in the Middle East were privately dismayed by President Trump’s decision to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, even before this week’s protests and bloodshed.
As the new embassy opened this week, Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinian protesters demonstrating in Gaza at the border with Israel. Protests have swept the world following Monday’s violence. The UN condemned the killings, calling them an “outrageous human rights violation.”
Trump’s decision, announced on December 6, 2017, was a controversial one. One U.S. official based in a Middle East embassy revealed to TYT that some U.S. diplomatic officials were privately among those dismayed by the decision.
“The vibe is defeated; people feel gloomy,” the official said shortly after Trump’s announcement. The official was granted anonymity due to fear of retribution from the State Department.
The official told TYT that, since President Trump announced his decision to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, some embassy coworkers have broken down in tears at what it meant for the prospects for peace in the region.
The official saw the Jerusalem announcement as one example of many in which Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric caused new levels of public relations problems for the State Department.
“Having worked under the Obama and Bush administrations . . . this one involves more damage control just exclusively based on the tweets,” the official said.
Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, seemed to cast the embassy move in religious terms, saying on Monday, “Jerusalem was, is, and always will be Israel’s capital.” Some Christians and Jews consider Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel.
As TYT reported last month, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation says it received complaints from within the CIA that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about his belief in the Rapture with CIA staffers when he was CIA Director. Rapture theology includes the belief that Jerusalem must be Israel’s capital for Jesus to return.
As the protests over the embassy move continue throughout the Palestinian territories, so too does international opposition to Israel’s response. Both France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, and the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, criticized Israel’s lethal actions.