In effect, as the Trump administration gives physical expression to its affection for Israel, a rift appears to be widening between the world’s two main centers of Jewish life.
The immediate threats to Israeli security could of course fizzle. The rift between American and Israeli Jews could heal with a new administration in either place, if not before. Even the risk posed by the embassy move could prove no more dampening to the celebration, in retrospect, than the smashing of a glass at a Jewish wedding.
And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Middle East peace process “is most decidedly not dead,” despite the embassy move, telling “Fox News Sunday” that the United States still hopes to be able to “achieve a successful outcome” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mr. Segev, the biographer, said he had learned in his research that Ben-Gurion had never cared much for Jerusalem, and had refrained from trying to take the city in 1948 in part because he knew it would be difficult to guard its Old City from extremists.
In that sense, Mr. Segev said, little seems to have changed.
“That’s what Jerusalem is all about,” he said. “That’s why it’s been a problem the last 3,000 years. And it may be a problem for the next 3,000 years.”