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Why Trump Moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem

In May, 2018, the U.S. officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Why is this significant? What is the historical context for this move, and the modern-day controversy surrounding it? This video will teach you everything you need to know about the subject. It addresses why Jerusalem is such a contested city, why it’s under heat as Israel’s capital, and what its role is in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Watch this video and use these prompts to learn about the ancient city’s status in the modern era.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Reflection
  • Further Reading
  1. How many Jews emigrated from the USSR between 1989-2006?
    • 60,000
    • 600,000
    • 1.6 Million
    • 6 Million
  2. In what year did Jewish forces regain control of Jerusalem in the modern era?
    • 1948
    • 1956
    • 1967
    • 1973
  3. What is “corpus separatum” and what role does it play in this story?
  4. When was the US Jerusalem Embassy Act passed and was its major loophole?
  5. The US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under which president?
    • Bill Clinton
    • George H.W. Bush
    • Barack Obama
    • Donald Trump
  1. From your perspective, was the United States’ decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem constructive in the pursuit of peace or does it complicate the process in an unnecessary way?
  2. Why has the status of Jerusalem been a contested issue for so long?
  3. Throughout history, many have fought long wars and shed blood over the right to control Jerusalem. Given this fact, what does this teach us about the importance of sacred space in imbuing meaning in the lives of others? How can we uphold a right to sacred spaces while mitigating conflict as much as possible?
  4. Although Israel does not have a constitution, it does have a list of basic laws. One of these is the Jerusalem Law of 1980, in which Israel declared “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel. Considering that Israel already declared Jerusalem as its capital decades before the United States formally recognized this, why is it important to Israelis for the United States government to recognize this?
  1. Every Passover, the Jewish people sing: “Next year in Jerusalem!” What does this age-old tradition mean to you?
  2. Why do you think the Jewish people place such an emphasis on the city of Jerusalem? What have you learned about Jerusalem – religiously, spiritually, historically – and how do you relate to the modern city?
  3. Imagine being a Jewish resident of Jerusalem. What does the embassy move mean to you?
  4. Imagine being a Muslim resident of Jerusalem. What does the embassy move mean to you?
  1. Olivia B. Waxman, “The 1995 Law Behind President Trump’s Plan to Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem” http://time.com/5049019/jerusalem-embassy-history/
  2. Noa Landau, Amir Tibon and Reuters, “Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Says Final Borders Up to Israel, Palestinians” https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/trump-recognizes-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital-says-final-borders-up-to-israel-palestinians-1.5627953
  3. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the opening of the embassy
  4. Jerusalem Basic Law, 1980

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