Hundreds Killed as U.S. Opens Jerusalem Embassy
Tensions in the Middle East are at a tipping point. Less than a week after Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal (infuriating both Iran and the five other signatories—U.K., Russia, France, China, and Germany), the Middle East was rocked by violence and death as the U.S. officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial move that has infuriated Palestinians.
On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and was reimposing strict sanctions on Iran. Trump said pulling out of the deal would ensure that Iran no longer violates its nuclear accord and the country would magically start to behave. In the aftermath, Iranians set fire to U.S. flags and its allies fired missiles at Israeli positions.1
Trump also suggested the U.S. would impose sanctions on any countries willing to trade with Iran. This could isolate the U.S. even further, especially when you consider that Iran, France, Germany, Britain said they will remain in the deal, setting up a potential trans-Atlantic trade war. China and Russia are also expected to accuse the U.S. of violating the accord.
The U.S. may be the world’s largest economy, but China is the second largest economy and Europe is the world’s largest economic block.
In response to Trump’s action, Iran called President Trump “feeble-minded” and said Trump is “not capable of identifying and judging the long-term consequences of his actions.”2
These words were not just directed at the Iran nuclear deal. The comments came just before the U.S. opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, May 14. The move resulted in widespread praise for Trump in Israel but condemnation by Palestinians and others around the world.
On May 14, a White House delegation, which included Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, gathered in Jerusalem for the inauguration ceremony for the opening of the new embassy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also in attendance.
President Trump was not there but he sent along a video address which aired at the opening of the embassy. Trump said it had been “a long time coming,” it was his “greatest hope” for peace, and that he “remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement.”3
Long-Term Ramifications of New Embassy?
Not everyone agrees with Trump’s rosy outlook. The opening was marred by violence. At last count, Israeli snipers killed 37 Palestinians and wounded at least 1,300 as more than 35,000 protestors rallied against the new U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem.
Condemnation was widespread, with the Palestinian government accusing Israel of committing a “terrible massacre” and Amnesty International called it an “abhorrent violation” of human rights and said “willful killings” constituted war crimes.4
Russia said it feared the new embassy in Jerusalem would increase tensions in the Middle East. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said the U.S. forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now “part of the problem rather than the solution.”5
While many investors tend to live by the old trading adage to “sell in May and go away,” not paying close attention the markets this spring and summer could seriously damage their investing and retirement portfolio.
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Ongoing tensions in the Middle East are not going to go away anytime soon. The opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem might be a one day event, but the long-term consequences could be fierce. Conflict between Iran, Syria, and Israel is expected to ramp up and relations between the U.S. and Iran, Europe, China, and Russia are expected to sour. Fortunately, the professional traders at Learn-To-Trade.com
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- Landler, M. “Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned,” New York Times, May 8, 2018; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal.html.
- “Iran calls Trump ‘feebleminded’ for moving US embassy to Jerusalem,” Times of Israel, May 14, 2018; https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-calls-trump-feebleminded-for-moving-us-embassy-to-jerusalem.
- “Donald Trump Message at The Embassy’s Opening ceremony in Jerusalem,” BBC, May 14, 2018; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM3Hi1R1NEw.
- “@amnestypress” Twitter.com, May 14, 2018; https://twitter.com/amnestypress/status/996019714869596160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.middleeasteye.net%2Fnews%2Fgaza-killings-un-gravely-concerned-israeli-targeting-protesters-667206318&tfw_creator=middleeasteye
- Wintour, P. “Turkey’s president blames US for returning world to ‘dark days’,” The Guardian, May 14, 2018; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/14/turkey-president-blames-us-for-returning-world-to-dark-days.
Photo Credit: iStock.com/NatanaelGinting