In an appearance on MSNBC on Friday, NBC foreign correspondent argued if the United States were to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as was suggested by President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign, it could spark “an intifada-like situation” in the Arab world.
“For the last several years when there was an uprising with the Arab Spring you noticed that Israel has sort of gone quiet,” Engel said. “The peace process is more or less dead. There is no peace process. And Israel while the Arab world has been in turmoil has effectively been pulling up the gates and trying to focus on domestic politics and not get involved — not get sucked into the Arab quagmire around it. It’s been pleased. Israel has been pleased to see strongmen leaders like [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi emerge in Egypt. I think that’s a trend that’s coming. I think under President-Elect Trump we’re going to see Israel once again emerging to the forefront.”
“Netanyahu has already reached out. Bibi Netanyahu had a terrible relationship with President Obama,” he continued. “He’s trying to reach out and establish a different relationship with soon-to-be President Trump. And that promise to move the embassy. If the United States changes policy and moves the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv and recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, of the Jewish people, which something Trump did promise in his election campaign, yeah. The Palestinians will not take it lightly. This will be a major international incident. We could see once again an intifada-like situation if that were to happen.”
(h/t RCP Video)
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor