President Trump today officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, arguing that doing so reflects reality and that decisions by his predecessors to hold back failed to advance the cause of Middle East peace. True as that is, expecting such restraint to do so was misguided.  The reason peace talks have stalled is persistent divisions within the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships and between them.

American recognition of Jerusalem will not ripen diplomatic prospects; to the contrary, it is likely to diminish what little opportunity for progress exists, as this unilateral U.S. action demands nothing of the Israeli government and gives nothing to the Palestinians in Jerusalem or anywhere else.

Why it matters: Jerusalem has been relatively calm amid an unraveling Middle East. The danger is that Trump's announcement could trigger violence in that city and beyond, further impeding cooperation between the United States and Arab and Muslim governments around the world.

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Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally that they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.