President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not set off a regional conflagration, for now, but it dealt a serious blow to efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This assessment is only valid for the moment, because at any given time, something could go wrong and prompt a new wave of violence. That said, predictions of unrest throughout the Middle East in response to Trump's move were clearly overblown, whereas the declaration’s impact on the diplomatic front may have been underrated.
As of now, the Palestinians have abandoned the diplomatic arena. They are standing behind their rejection of the United States as an honest broker in the conflict, while enjoying sweeping support in most regional capitals. US Vice President Mike Pence was forced to delay a December visit to the region to possibly next month. Trump’s two envoys to the region, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, are persona non grata in the Palestinian territories.