08 December 2017

In a recent article for Foreign Policy, Strauss Distinguished Scholar and Clements Center Executive Director Dr. William Inboden discussed the importance of President Trump’s announcement that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called for the U.S. Embassy to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Inboden stipulates that the effects of Trump’s Jerusalem decision is determined by the outcome of “two countervailing strategic trends”: (1) the promise of Israel’s increasing regional and global power, and (2) the increasing threat from both state and non-state actors along Israel’s immediate borders. While Inboden acknowledges that Israel now wields more power on both the regional and global stages, he is duly concerned with the shadow of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, an emerging humanitarian crisis in Gaza at the behest of Egypt and the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank, and the continued destructive externalities of the civil war in Syria. Additionally, Inboden notes that these threats are exacerbated by power and presence of both Iran and a re-emerging Russia. 

Ultimately, says Inboden, the real importance the Jerusalem decision does not simply come from U.S. recognition, but from such recognition coupled with the influence of numerous exogenous variables already at play within the region and within Israel.

Read Dr. Inboden’s full remarks here.