us flag burning protest
... or is he forcing the long-overdue issue of Palestinian statehood front and center?

Promises, promises. Nearly all U.S. presidents of the last thirty years have made campaign promises to move the American embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem in order to secure the Israel lobby's support. But once in office, none have ever followed through. That is, until now. Last week Trump dropped a matzo ball-encrusted bombshell on Palestinians, the Middle East and much of the whole world when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and said that he intends, in fact, to follow through on his promise to move the embassy ... in one or two years.

Was Trump merely making good on a deal he made for campaign funds, and not seeing how it could harm a 'dead in the water' peace process? Or was this decision part of a larger plan to team up with Saudi Arabia and Israel in a plan to topple Iran? On the other hand, Trump might be playing Netanyahu in order to get greater concessions for Palestinians during peace talks later. And how does Trump's Israeli settlement profiting son-in-law Jared Kushner fit into all of this?

Whatever the answers, the Middle East is now, more than ever, riled up with indignation and sees Trump's decision as symbolic of a U.S. choice to effectively end Palestinian aspirations for sovereignty.

Join us this week on Behind the Headlines as we follow this story, Brexit, the ongoing Russiagate Mueller investigation and more. Tune in at 6-8pm CET (4-6pm UTC / 12-2pm EST).

*Shlemiel: A jewish or Yiddish term meaning "unlucky bungler" or "chump." It is a common archetype in Jewish humor, and so-called "shlemiel jokes" depict the shlemiel falling into unfortunate situations.

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