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WASHINGTON — Here’s a split-screen for our times: While Israeli troops were killing dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Monday, Trump administration representatives were 50 miles away in Jerusalem, celebrating with Israeli officials the opening of the U.S. Embassy there and praising their mutual devotion to peace.

“Moving the U.S. embassy,” Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan declared, is “a step toward advancing peace.”

President Trump himself, in a video message, pledged his commitment to a “lasting peace agreement.”

His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said “peace is within reach.”

And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared it “a great day for peace.”

Because nothing says “peace” like 61 Palestinians killed, 2,700 wounded, renewed hostilities between Iran and Israel, the entire region aflame and U.S. allies reeling.

Kushner, who reminded the audience that he’s in charge of Trump’s “efforts to bring peace,” used his remarks to denounce the Palestinians. “As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution,” he said. Back in Washington, a White House spokesman declined to join allies urging Israel to exercise restraint.

The move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv could have been a moment of unity and brotherhood. Instead, as with most everything Trump touches, it became a symbol of division and bitterness. It could have been the capstone of a peace deal, as Republican and Democratic administrations alike had hoped. Instead, it all but dashed hope for a two-state solution.

Most European allies skipped the event. And only 14 members of Congress were on hand for the celebration — all Republican and only one Jewish. Republicans scolded Democrats for their absence; Democrats said they weren’t invited. “I would have loved to have participated in this historic and moving embassy dedication,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who supported the embassy move, said in a statement. “Despite reaching out to the administration, I was not invited to be a part of the official American delegation.”

Here’s who was invited:

Robert Jeffress, the pastor who gave the opening prayer, who has said that both Islam and Mormonism are “heresy from the pit of hell” — and that Jews are bound for that same destination. “You can’t be saved being a Jew,” he said in a 2010 interview.

John Hagee, an evangelical Christian leader who gave a closing prayer, who is known for, among other things, once saying God allowed the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed, to happen “because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was standing at Trump’s side last year when the president said there were “very fine people” among neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville and later defended Trump’s handling of the situation.

And Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who spoke at a reception for the U.S. delegation, after which Kushner and Ivanka Trump asked for Yosef’s blessing. The rabbi made waves recently for comparing black people to monkeys and proposed blessing only “a person with a white father and mother.”

Given the lineup, this was less a diplomatic ceremony than a campaign event. David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, praised “the vision, the courage and the moral clarity of one person to whom we owe an enormous and eternal debt of gratitude, President Donald J. Trump.”

Moral clarity! And that’s not all: “I think President Lincoln is smiling today as another great Republican, Donald J. Trump, opens our embassy.”

Netanyahu dutifully declared that Trump “made history,” Hagee thanked God “for President Donald Trump’s courage,” and Jeffress praised Trump’s leadership, determination, resolve and courage and offered his view to God that Trump “stands on the right side of You.”

Kushner got applause for reminding the crowd of Trump’s decision to “exit the dangerous, flawed and one-sided Iran deal.”

The bipartisan unity toward Israel had begun to break down even before Trump, as Netanyahu, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, clashed with President Barack Obama. Trump has further driven the partisan wedge over Israel, and it’s splitting not just Democrats from Republicans but American Jews from Netanyahu’s government.

A poll last year by the American Jewish Committee found that American Jews, only 21 percent of whom view Trump favorably, were overwhelmingly (68 percent) opposed to an immediate move of the embassy.

Perhaps American Jews recognize that Trump, and the messianic Christians driving his policy, are leading Israel away from democracy and security. And perhaps they don’t trust claims of “peace” when their own eyes see the opposite.

Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

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(28) comments

mocha1

Hamas has admitted today that most of the casualties were Hamas members. Hamas is a terrorist group as labeled by the US gov. Under Clinton as well as Obama. These are not poor women and children just out trying to get food being shot but Israeli troops. This has nothing to do with the embassy but everything to do with Hamas having as their main goal the destruction of Israel. Liberal writers like Milbank and the liberal press are the reason Hamas is pushing for as much carnage as possible. They know they will print this propaganda. As such this blood is on their hands.

kingman10

what! This has nothing to do with the embassy!!! That is the best you can do! You are certifiable wacko! This has everything with Trump's decision to move the embassy. Come on mocha1. answer my 11:11 post on why the move was such a good decision. Quit skirting around the issue. What has moving the embassy really accomplished?

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT---In your 3:28 pm post you said to talk to somebody who has traveled there.As if traveling there makes them an expert.I went to a Nascar race once does that make me an expert????Do you see why you are known as a DOLT????

kingman10

Oh Veteran, I was wondering where you were. We all missed you, like a hemorrhoid. Did I say traveling there makes anyone an expert? HMMM? However, those that traveled there and interacted first hand with both peoples, will have a far more accurate picture than what goes on there than people like you who just sit in a corner and pretend to know it all. Getting first hand accounts on the situation there is for people who want to know the real truth going on there. By Relying on the Israeli government or our government for information it would be hard to what the whole truth is. So you saw a Nascar race in person, well good for you. I bet you know a lot more about what happened there than I did from just reading about it in the paper. I bet you can tell a lot more stories about the race than I could, not that I care. So you see poor lost Veteran (of no known military branch) it does pay to listen to those who actually saw and experienced events, than to be like you and pretend to know it all.

kingman10

say long lost Veteran as long as I have your attention, did you see where Trump finally admitted his affair and hush money with Stormy? Well he admitted paying her money anyway. Man that took a long time for him to quit lying and admit it. and did you hear there are at least three other women who are coming forward who claimed they were paid hush money? Can you believe it! You just can't make this stuff up. Oh the books and movies that will be made about this scandalous president, and the law suits and hearings that will linger on forever. Its enough to make a person want to know more. Well most of us anyway, some will just sit in the corner with their binky and wish it will all go away. When you talk about adult film stars and Trump, that is the real "deep state." Just ask buggsy!

kingman10

well that took care of long lost veteran. He will go hide for awhile till he summons up enough courage to post something idiotic. Par for the course with him/her/it.

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT---Well look at the puffed up little DOLT thinking he rules over somebody,but then that is a liberal LOON 'S way of thinking.How sad to be that mentally deranged to think they are a king in this country.What a misguided foolish DOLT!!!!!

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT---Well so you are busy trying to find film on some more ladies so you can play pervert some more,how sad .As far as the mid east I say that you hear very little about the Arab citizens living in Israel but we hear a lot about Hamas.It also appears as you are taking Hamas side in this like a lot of other liberal LOONS defending terrorists!!You already show us where you stand on us Veterans by attacking my being a Veteran so I suppose we should not be too surprised to see you supporting terrorists !!!

kingman10

oh you woke up long lost veteran. Its your buddy Trump who is looking for the adult film stars, even gets his picture taken with them. Sounds kinda perverted to me. I hear plenty about Arab citizens living in Israel, cause I listen to those who traveled there, and gain a unique perspective. There are lectures being held often around the region by people who been there, you should attend one, might learn something, but I doubt it. You are so thinned skinned you make a perfect snowflake for the right wing con side. When have I now hurt your feelings on being a veteran. That is your screen name, I have no way of knowing if you are a real veteran. And really I don't care. Anyone with such a thin skin, shallow brain and crazy comments are lost. You want to dish out the name calling but cry those big crocodile tears when someone does it a little to you. My My, such a temper tantrum!

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT---Looks like you are wrong again,I posted again on the May 18 ,apparently you only read what you want or are to stupid to see that most of your posts do not have a reply on them so I go to one that does have a reply.It appears to me that I live rent free in that space you call your brain!!!! LOL

kingman10

oh long lost and crazier than a loon veteran, my screen name is kingman, that means I am king over you and the whole world. that's right, you want to hide behind a sccreen name of veteran, well I one upped you cause I am the King. You mustn't make fun of the King cause I say so. Reading your may 18th post I find your grammar hard to understand and without any factual basis. therefor I decree as your King that you should be punished with 50 lashes with a wet noodle. Its great being the King over subjects like you. I hope you learned your lesson!

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT---An observation of your 4:34 pm post,it appears as you are the one having a temper tantrum and not me I am having a laugh myself.You are still a DOLT!!!LOL

A Veteran

kinkyman the DOLT ---Your screen name is DOLT!!!!! I f you think you can tell me what to do lets meet somewhere and you can try that DOLT!!

kingman10

you will address me as "your majesty" long lost crazy veteran. As your King I order you to cease and desist making such of fool of yourself! It is obvious everyone has had enough of your shenanigans. Go to your corner and sulk some more. I on the other hand have many royal duties to attend to. I cannot be bothered with peons like yourself. Be off with yourself!

mocha1

Hamas admits today most killed were its members, a terrorist organization per the US government, Including Clinton and Obama, dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Not peaceful women and children just trying to survive because of Israel’s brutality. So when Billy Bob, Barack Hussein and even George W promise to move the embassy no libs went amok. Finally we have a president willing to carry out the campaign promises he was elected on. If you want to stop the slaughter the lib media must stop shilling for the Hamas propaganda machine.

kingman10

come on Mocha1 answer my 11:11 post about why is the move of the embassy to Jerusalem such a good move. Could it be that the other presidents saw the violence that would erupt by such a move and therefor decided against moving. Keeping a campaign promise come hell or high water isn't showing guts, its stupidity. Something you should know alot about.

tower

What a load of krapp. Gaza has been a virtual ghetto for decades. And how terrible those Hamas kids walked into those bullets merrily flying toward the sea. Kindly explain to us how someone throwing rocks poses any threat to armed troops. And explain why there were 0 Israeli injuries . The Israelis have become what persecuted them 80 yrs ago.

HolmenPackerFan

Here's one explanation; the threat comes when the harmless rock-thrower is also wearing a bomb. Don't try to say it hasn't happen. There were zero Israeli injuries because the Israeli's have learned to shoot before they get close enough to hurt anyone when the bombs detonate.

kingman10

um homennutcasepackerfan, you don't have to use deadly force against rock throwers so they don'get get too close. there are such things as water cannons, rubber bullets and other crowd control measures which are far less deadly. Israel treats the palestinians worse than animals. They even built that big wall by taking more land away from the Palestinians. They even shut off the drinking water to Palestine daily. IN Palestine they are not allowed to do any business without the ok fro Israel. They cannot produce or ship any goods to other countries without permission. They are kept in a state of poverty and desperation. Of course the Palestinians are gong to rebel. Talk to someone who has actually traveled there, and interacted with the people. Find out the truth first before commenting.

oldhomey

A very powerful column, indeed. Trump has relit the fuse to the powder keg, but this time we have no allies on our side to contain the coming violence. Not a true friend left in the world, but that is Donald Trump for you. And we will have to take decades trying to recover and pick up the pieces, though I doubt we will ever re-establish our standing in the international community to the stature that it was at before Donald Trump was elected to the presidency by a minority of American voters.

new2Lax

You are going to make up your mind on Trump and being tight with Russia, is Russia with Trump or not. If he is as you keep suggesting, what's to worry about, Trumps tight with Russia and he isn't doing bad with China either. By the way Israel is a country you can count on as is his buddy in France. Japan, South Korea, the UK, Germany, even the Saudis are against Iran. I suspect you are wrong again. Other than Democrats, there are not many on Iran's side.

oldhomey

Iran is a dangerous, radical state. We working in concert with the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China to curtail their nuclear efforts with significant success. Trump unilaterally pulled the rug out from under all of them. That makes us a real reliable ally in any peace effort, right? Israel is the only friend Trump has on the international scene because he for his own political purposes in pleasing the radical religionists in our country -- namely the fundamentalist protestants -- he caves in to everything Netenyahu, who is on his way to an Israeli prison, asks for. By the way, how is your "in the bag" denuclearization of North Korea looking right now as Kim crumbles and trembles at the very sound of Trump's name, new2? And the Chinese are just prostrating themselves, just as you said the would, when Trump rattled their cage about trade wars, right? Trump is no friend of Russia, apparently, just a willing vassal of Putin's who seems to have some straight and narrow president. Thank the Lord that we have new2 here to speak the facts for us.

oldhomey

Sorry, Trump is no friend of Russia, apparently, just a willing vassal of Putin's who seems to have some incriminating evidence he can use on our great president, a man of outward impeccable credentials and ethical standards beyond reproach. Right.

mocha1

Milbank failed to mention that it was the foreign policy of Barack Obama that was the cause of most of the unrest in the Middle East, he faked to address the Syrian crisis, making it worse with his red line disaster, he allowed the creation of Isis by abandoning Iraq, these actions actions allowed Iran to take over much of Iraq and Syria threatening other countries. His insane Iranian nuke deal has now lead to other countries in the area staring their own nuke programs to counter Iran. His incomprehensible blaming Israel for Mid East issues and the failure to highlight the tactic of Hamas using and promoting civilians deaths has led us to where we are now. And purveyors of the Hamas message are the real criminals in these deaths

kingman10

mocha1 is again fast and loose with the facts and reality. Most of the unrest in the Mid East can be attributed decades ago, back to the Eisenhower administration, when they over threw a democratically elected government and put the Shah in power against the people's will. Reagan helped strengthen and arm Iraq and its leader Saddam during the lengthy war they had with Iran, who turned out to be just another tyrant we helped. We even armed and helped Osama bin Laden during the insurgency against Russia in Afghanistan. I could go on and on about our foreign policy over the decades, but forgetful and ill informed people like you could give a cr*ap. Remember when we invaded Iraq, drove one tyrant out and put another in its place. That is when ISIS really got its start, in our prolonged occupation with that country with your buddy Bush's war. You know little about the Iran nuke treaty, just what you hear from faux news, so no use even mentioning that. Israel has problems since it was formed as a country, pushing out the Palestinians in a little track of land where they have no rights except what Israel lets them have. Of course they are going to rebel against that. Again you have no idea what you are talking about as usual.

kingman10

and just for the record moch1, tell us all how moving our embassy to Jerusalem has helped the situation there. Does it bring peace and prosperity to that region? Does it further the peace process? How is the world better off with that move? Please tell why it was such a great move, and why you admire Trump for it.

kingman10

where oh where is know it all mocha1? Can't answer my post above? You got all the answers on this one, come on and share it with us.

kingman10

well time to go feed my chickens. At least I get something out of them, a few eggs a day. That's a lot better than I get from mocha or redwall whose stone cold silence to my questions make my chickens look a lot smarter than they.

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