On Tuesday, President Trump told Israeli and Palestinians leaders that the U.S. would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is looking very likely that he will also relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem, which—like the recognition itself—could set off huge protests and violence in the Middle East. At the same time, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is pushing a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. The contours of that deal are unknown, but the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is—according to the New York Times—floating a plan that has enraged Palestinians because of its one-sidedness but that may be backed by the White House. These stirrings are occurring during a time in which MBS—as I suppose we must call him—is embarking on domestic reforms (or purges) and exhibiting power (or aggression) on the world stage. The results so far are chaos and devastation in Yemen, an unsettled Lebanon, and Sunni–Shia conflict at dangerous levels all across the region. Israel, meanwhile, has shown a willingness to cooperate with the Sunni regimes against Iran.
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