The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the newest version of President Donald Trump's travel ban to take effect pending appeal.
This is the first time justices have allowed any edition of the ban to go forward in its entirety. It signals that some of the justices might be distinguishing the latest version from previous iterations and could be more likely, in the future, to rule in favor of the ban.
Issued in September, the third edition of the travel ban placed varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.
Lower courts in two separate challenges had partially blocked the ban.
The order is a significant temporary win for the Trump administration, which has fought all year to impose a travel ban against citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. Monday's order means it can be enforced while challenges to the policy make their way through the legal system.
And if this doesn't piss off the Muslim world enough, Trump's coming announcement tomorrow certainly will.
Donald Trump is telling leaders from across the Middle East that he intends to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, an explosive move that will break from 50 years of US foreign policy, potentially derail his administration’s hopes of restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and threaten to spark violence across the region.
Trump reportedly also told King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone that he plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That move won’t be imminent, however. The White House told reporters late Tuesday that the president plans to sign another six-month waiver delaying the embassy move; Trump is expected to publicly announce both decisions on Wednesday.
The administration’s planned announcement is already sparking fury across the Arab world. A spokeswoman for Abbas’s office issued a statement early Tuesday warning of “dangerous consequences” if Trump moves forward with plans to eventually move the embassy. King Abdullah was equally critical, saying in a statement that the White House shift on Jerusalem “will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process.”
Right-wing Israeli leaders, by contrast, didn’t try to disguise their happiness. In a message to Trump, Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party, said he wanted to thank “you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment and intention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
The sharply divergent reactions highlight the fact that there is almost no other issue in the Middle East as contentious as the future of Jerusalem.
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital. Though Israel’s Parliament and the prime minister’s home are in Jerusalem, they sit in West Jerusalem, on the side of the city Israel has controlled since 1949. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed that half of the city.
The international community considers East Jerusalem occupied territory. But that half the city also contains sites holy to all three major monotheistic religions, including the Western Wall, the most sacred site in the world for Jews, and the Temple Mount, a sacred site for Muslims.
The Palestinians would like to officially divide the city and make East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Israelis, to put it mildly, disagree — and the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long made clear that it wouldn’t even consider making concessions over Jerusalem.
The decades-long political fight over the future of the city is what makes Trump’s new moves so momentous — and so dangerous.
Trump's move will have disastrous consequences for the peace process and for America. At this point it's a race to see who we go to war with first, North Korea or Iran.
Believe me when I say Trump wants both.