Jerusalem Expert Danny Seidemann Puts Trump’s Visit in Context

Melanie Fineman Image
Melanie Fineman
on May 23, 2017

Yesterday, Air Force One landed in Israel as part of President Trump’s first overseas trip since Inauguration. His itinerary today included a stop at two of the holiest places in the world — Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.

Trump visited holy sites in one of the most complex, contested cities on the planet. There’s a lot there that’s important to understand about Jerusalem  — which is why J Street was excited to host a call yesterday afternoon with world-renowned Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann.

On the call. Seidmann described Jerusalem as “a city of two peoples” and “three religions”. To understand it, one has to recognize Jerusalem as “a multifaith city” that holds deep religious significance to many.

Seidemann also expressed his belief that Jerusalem is more divided and contested today than it was at any point over the past 50 years. He believes that the only way forward is to end the occupation — something that former Mossad head Tamir Pardo recently described as “Israel’s greatest threat.”  

You can listen to the fantastic recording of our call with Danny Seidemann below.

Still curious about Jerusalem? Check out our Q&A on this complex topic — and learn more about J Street’s positioning on our Jerusalem policy page.