By Robert A. Vella
President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem was motivated by geopolitical and religious aggression; and, today, its deadly consequences came to fruition. This, unfortunately, is only the beginning.
JERUSALEM, May 14 (Reuters) – The United States officially opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Monday, fulfilling a pledge by President Donald Trump who has recognized the holy city as the Israeli capital.
Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its “eternal and indivisible capital” in a move that has not won international recognition.
ZEITOUN, Gaza Strip — Israeli soldiers on Monday killed 52 Palestinians demonstrating along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and wounded more than 2,400 in the bloodiest day in the enclave since the 2014 war with Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
An estimated 35,000 Palestinians gathered on the edges of Gaza as the U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem, fanning out along the fence in the largest demonstrations yet.
Former Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney lashed out at the decision to have a controversial evangelical leader give a blessing at the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Monday, calling him a “religious bigot.”
The Senate candidate from Utah criticized the inclusion of the Rev. Robert Jeffress — the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas who is also an an adviser to President Donald Trump. The president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.
“Robert Jeffress says, ‘You can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell,'” Romney wrote in a tweet. “He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.”
Romney is Mormon.