Chris Matthews Gets Totally Unhinged Over Trump and Jerusalem

President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence by his side, delivered a Presidential Proclamation to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

By Michael Brown Published on December 7, 2017

This is not the first time that Chris Matthews has gone on a semi-rational tirade. Yet, his recent outburst against President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could well go down as one of his worst.

Matthews started by fairly stating that Palestinians need some form of real hope in order to pursue peace. He then grimly announced that “deaths are coming now because of this. You can just bet that in the next few weeks we’re going to have hell to pay for this totally erratic decision by this president.”

Of course, everyone involved in this noteworthy decision is aware of the real risk of violence. But the ones who could pay the most dearly — namely, the Israelis — are the most excited about the decision. Perhaps the decision is not “totally erratic” after all?

The reality is that only under Israeli control can there be peace, safety and respect for all religions.

Matthews then explains that every president since 1948 has realized that “you have to be careful over there.” Talking about his own experience living in Jerusalem years ago, he said, “everything is intricate over there.”

The reality, however, is that only under Israeli control can there be peace, safety and respect for all religions. And Israel has made clear that there will be no change in the status quo with the Temple Mount, which is of paramount concern to the Muslim world. Israel understands the intricacies. That’s why there are not daily, deadly riots throughout the city.

But Matthews was just getting warmed up.

Trump, Moore and the US Embassy in Israel

As the panel discussion continued, he jumped right back in with these astounding words:

Don’t think this isn’t related to Alabama next week. It is related. Because it’s the Christian Evangelicals down there with their crazy ideas about Israel which is, I don’t know, mythical. They don’t understand the situation over there, how tricky it is ethnically and tribally. They don’t care because it’s a religious belief. Trump is playing into that this week you watch him.

But of course! This is all about Alabama. This is Trump’s way of getting Roy Moore into the Senate. How obvious! Why didn’t everyone else see that?

So, Donald Trump makes one of the biggest foreign policy decisions of his presidency — indeed, one of the biggest in several presidencies — and it’s largely a ploy to get out the evangelical vote in Alabama. And he’ll risk upheaval in the Muslim world and beyond to get Moore elected.

Seriously?

Let’s try to follow the logic. Evangelical voters in Alabama will now come out in force and support Judge Moore because… Well, somehow, I’m not getting this.

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The truth is that Alabama evangelicals remain excited about Trump himself. To the point that when he campaigned for Luther Strange, many came to the rally saying, “We love you, but we don’t support Strange.” Plus, Trump formally endorsed Moore just a few days ago.

How does announcing the move of our embassy connect with any of this? Are we really supposed to believe that evangelical voters in Alabama will now say, “I wasn’t sure about voting for Moore. But since Trump is moving the embassy, he has proven to be a real friend of Israel. That means I should take his endorsement of Moore more seriously”? Hogwash.

Moving the Embassy Makes Logical Sense

Matthews has nothing but scorn for evangelical support of Israel, calling it “mythical” He says we have “crazy ideas about Israel,” and “don’t understand the situation over there, how tricky it is ethnically and tribally.”

There are plenty of pragmatic reasons why Trump’s decision is both right and righteous — as other, non-evangelical commentators have noted.

To be sure, we do believe there are strong spiritual reasons to support the Trump’s decision. And I can understand that to Matthews, those reasons seem “crazy.” But we are quite aware of the intricacies and challenges involved with both recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating our embassy. What’s more, there are plenty of pragmatic reasons why Trump’s decision is both right and righteous — as other, non-evangelical commentators have noted.

As summed up by the editors of the National Review, the president’s decision “is not a radical position. It has been the consensus in the United States for more than two decades, despite a lamentable tradition of presidential waivers deferring action on the matter. …

The move both corrects an error of American policy and signifies our respect for Israeli sovereignty. Diplomatic tradition allows sovereign states to name their capitals, and Israel has named Jerusalem as its own. We understand the prudential concerns that have prevented prior administrations from taking this formal step, but it shouldn’t be in dispute that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and the forces that vociferously deny it tend to oppose the very existence of the Jewish state.

The editors also note that, “We shouldn’t let the irrationality of the Palestinians dictate our policy.” They continue,

The charge that this move will derail the peace process is similarly unfounded. Right now, the fact is that there is no peace process worthy of the name. Regardless, there is no conceivable peace agreement between Israel and Palestine that wouldn’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Achieving a Lasting Peace

This is not rocket science (sorry, Chris Matthews). Recognizing the status of Jerusalem is really the only viable way to achieve lasting peace.

Acknowledge the realities on the ground. Recognize the sovereignty of Israel (rather than trying to wipe them off the map). And work together in partnership for the common good.

Despite Matthews’s claims, it’s clear that a decision like this was not made overnight (there goes the Moore theory). And it was not made without consulting the other key players in the region.

How things will play out remains to be seen, but this much is sure: Mr. Matthews is as far off the mark as Alabama is from Jerusalem.

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  • Chip Crawford

    The first line of this answers the whole, so … Chris Matthews’ hinges are too loose and forever coming apart … So? By now, we know Donald Trump is a disrupter, an innovator, not a go-along … Oh well … It’s their blood pressure.

  • Chip Crawford

    The first line of this answers the whole, so … Chris Matthews’ hinges are too loose and forever coming apart … So? By now, we know Donald Trump is a disrupter, an innovator, not a go-along … Oh well … It’s their blood pressure.

  • Tom Gilson

    Very patronizing. Wow. Evangelicals don’t know it’s intricate over there? Really? Stereotype much, Mr. Mooney?

  • Yossi

    The issue is one of justice — doing what’s right. Matthews’ criticisms of the recognition of fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish State of Israel because of the alleged ignorance of the “realities on the ground” of those in favor of it, and the possible violence of those who oppose this just action are reminiscent of similar criticisms made against those from outside the region who promoted civil rights in the old American South in the 1950-60’s. As was often stated back then — “justice delayed is justice denied.”

  • Charles Burge

    One more confirmation that American leftists are absolutely the most condescending bunch of people who ever lived. They genuinely seem to think that anyone who disagrees with them is either stupid or uninformed.

  • Patmos

    Whether it’s Marxism. the blind embrace of LGBT, or unjustified Trump hysteria, the left is being overrun by fringe elements that are undermining any good they might have to offer. I’m not seeing anything resembling any sort of sensibility coming from that side of the spectrum. Not good.

  • Elizabeth Litts

    More proof that the lamestream media is full of mentally deranged people who think that they are the almighty thought police

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Nah, I think Mr Matthews is still a bit further from the “mark” than is the distance from Alabama to Jerusalem. It’s comical to watch these guys “grasping at straws”in a contrived effort to discredit Trump & this administration. It is also yet one further example of the hypocrisy of the left. They w/one side of their mouth attempted to raise questions regarding unsubstantiated accusations that Trump was an anti semite. From the other side of that disingenuous mouthpiece they propose policy that is as anti Israel as is our tax dollars paying for the renaming of streets after terrorists & worse !
    Not a good time to be a liberal or so it seems …

  • stan schmunk

    Matthews could be right. I’ve watched conservatives for over 50 years and they are not beyond doing this. You found the timing of Moore’s accusers suspicious and the same reasoning can be applied to Trump’s decision. Why now?

  • davidrev17

    Why on earth is Mr. Matthews railing, in true tail-chasing style, against we mindless flat-earth
    believing, intellectual simpleton evangelical Christians anyway – of whom believe in our imaginary Sky-wizard “god” – for having “crazy ideas,” and “mythical beliefs about Israel”? After all, we’re just expressing our foundationless “religious beliefs” in this matter. What else would he expect from us? At least we’re being consistent in our irrational beliefs where history, historiography, molecular genetics, and even the science of archaeology is concerned.

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