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Why Trump’s promise to move US Embassy to Jerusalem is so controversial

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President Trump announced late last year that the U.S. will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – and it looks like the new U.S. embassy will be ready ahead of schedule.

The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem will open in May in order to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring its independence, the Trump administration said on Feb. 23.

The Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital was heralded by many pro-Israel activists but decried by Palestinians and America’s Arab allies.

Read on to find out why the decision is so contentious — and why it wasn’t accomplished before.

Finding the capital

The international community – and until 2017, the U.S. – largely does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as it is claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis. Like other countries, the U.S. kept its embassy in Tel Aviv, approximately an hour away.

The U.S. moving its embassy would cause “significant harm to the U.S. credibility as a mediator” for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, said Dylan Williams, vice president of government affairs for J Street, a left-leaning pro-Israel advocacy organization.

Williams added that the move could “undermine confidence” from Palestinians and Arab countries that the U.S. would remain an impartial negotiator in efforts to create peace in the Middle East. 

“It shouldn’t be moved prior to agreement by the parties to the conflict as part of a comprehensive agreement ending their conflict,” Williams, J Street’s chief lobbyist, told Fox News. 

Williams added that such a move could also turn deadly.

“Even seemingly minor changes of Jerusalem’s status quo — either in fact or in law — have historically had the impact of sparking violence,” Williams said.

Support for Jerusalem

Millions of evangelical eyes were on Trump, waiting to see if he would keep his campaign promise to move the embassy, longtime Pastor John Hagee told Fox News ahead of the president’s official announcement. 

“I can assure you that 60 million evangelicals are watching this promise closely because if President Trump moves the embassy into Jerusalem, he will historically step into immortality,” Hagee said. “He will be remembered for thousands of years for his act of courage to treat Israel like we already treat other nations.” 

“If he does not, he will be remembered as just another president who made a promise he failed to keep which would generate massive disappointment in that strong evangelical base that went to vote for him against Hillary Clinton,” he added. 

“Trump will be remembered for thousands of years for his act of courage to treat Israel like we already treat other nations.”

– Pastor John Hagee

Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas. He founded the nonprofit Christians United for Israel in 2006, as well.

March 2016 Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans didn’t express an opinion when asked if the U.S. embassy should move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But of those who did have an opinion, Americans were split with 24 percent supporting a move and 20 percent disagreeing with relocation.

Congressional authority

Trump isn’t the only president to declare his intentions to move the U.S. embassy; both former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also pledged to move the embassy — only to abandon the idea once in the White House.

Congress approved in 1995 the funding and relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem by 1999. But the law included a stipulation, allowing for presidents to sign continuous waivers to stall the relocation. Every president since has used the waiver in an effort to avoid conflict with the peace negotiations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.



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Sausage war just the start! UK still tied to almost 300 hated EU rules –Boris urged to act

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THE European Union’s draconian sausage rules are a sign of the nightmare in store for Northern Ireland, Brexiteers have warned.

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Biden admin steps up efforts to raise Covid vaccination rates among teens

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WASHINGTON — A mixture of misinformation, low Covid-19 vaccination rates among U.S. teens and the spread of a variant causing concern is fueling urgency among policymakers and spurring a new push by the Biden administration to change those trends.

In an interview with NBC News following a public discussion at a Washington, D.C., school, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra called the arrival in the United States of the more contagious delta variant in addition to misinformation about the vaccine and apathy among unvaccinated teenagers “concerning.”

“It is very clear that this (misinformation) is real,” Becerra said.

“The next phase of this is getting out into the community, really getting to sit with families, sit with teens, be there, where there’s an opportunity,” said Dr. Drew Maurano, who leads a team of medical staff at one of D.C.’s largest vaccination clinics.

The exchange illustrates a deepening concern by some lawmakers and the Biden administration as the new coronavirus variant takes hold in the U.S. after ripping through primary schools in Britain.

And the administration is stepping up its efforts to reach adolescents. This includes the creation last week of a “Covid-19 Student Corps,” or teenagers who agree to serve as community ambassadors to their peers. The administration is also teaming up with social media influencers including Hollywood actors, “mommy bloggers,” the first lady, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and camp associations, Health and Human Services officials said.

The nation’s capital city is a prime example of the challenges. In Washington, 30 percent of white residents between 18 and 24 are at least partially vaccinated, but that’s true for just 14 percent of Black residents in the same age group, according to district health data. Just 4 percent of Black children ages 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated.

“Something is wrong in getting the word out to our young people,” a visibly irritated Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said as she read out the Covid-19 vaccination rates among her city’s teenagers during the recent panel discussion at Anacostia High School.

The delta variant, first identified in India and now dominant in Britain, is spreading more in educational settings than any other the government has reviewed, according to British Health data, and it’s hitting those ages 12 to 20 especially hard. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. doctor, warned in a recent press briefing: “We cannot let that happen in the United States.”

According to U.K. government data, 217 outbreaks of the delta variant had been identified in educational settings, the largest number in any of the settings examined. Israel has also seen several school clusters. The U.K. Health Department has also warned the risk of hospital admission is higher in people with the delta variant.

A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager at Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami on May 18, 2021.Eva Marie Uzcategui / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

“In England, we saw this variant spread first among school age children, and then to other age groups,” said Deepti Gurdasani, a British epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London. “It is clear that schools are a major area of spread, when robust mitigations aren’t present,” she said.

“This variant, being more transmissible, more severe and more able to escape vaccines has the potential to change the shape of the pandemic,” she said. Prior restrictions to contain the alpha variant “are completely insufficient to contain this,” she said.

Meanwhile, some Anacostia High students said the vaccine is unimportant to many of their peers while others believe, falsely, it could hurt them.

London Dews, a 17-year-old unvaccinated student told Holmes Norton that social media myths about vaccines implanting tracking chips activated by 5G technology or that the vaccine will turn kids into “zombies” aren’t just fringe.

“One conspiracy is that the vaccine is implanting a chip into us and the government is tracking us. And another one is that this will, the vaccinations will be a start to a zombie apocalypse in the future,” Dews said.

“It’s circulating through YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, um, Twitter, you know, the big social medias that we use every day. I think (there are) a lot of people who believe this.”



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Earn our trust! Brexit row heats up as EU issues fresh warning to UK – anger at Lord Frost

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THE Northern Ireland Protocol must be “implemented in full”, an EU Commissioner has insisted, as the spat between Brussels and London over the key part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement drags on.

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