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Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The United States will delight Israel and infuriate Palestinians today at 9 a.m. ET with the dedication of an interim embassy in Jerusalem, officially marking the move from Tel Aviv.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem is a huge milestone in U.S.-Israeli relations. Even if Trump does nothing else until the end of his term regarding Israel, he has already gotten himself into the history books.

  • The U.S. celebrations around the opening of the embassy — both yesterday and today — are far from bipartisan. The congressional delegation to the event — four senators and 10 members of the House — is all Republican.
  • The only people who are not in government who got front row seats at the reception at the Israeli foreign ministry yesterday were Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.
  • Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been lavished with attention from Israeli politicians — mainly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke about them in length during two of his speeches yesterday.

What actually happens: The moving is mostly symbolic. The only U.S. officials who are actually moving at this time from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem are Ambassador David Friedman and four members of his staff.

  • But this is the beginning of a process, and the embassy plans to grow in the next year.
  • It will take several years to build the permanent embassy in Jerusalem. Until then, most U.S. diplomats will continue working from Tel Aviv.

The embassy opening is also overshadowed by mass demonstrations in the Gaza strip and the West bank.

  • As of 7am eastern time there were 35,000 Palestinians demonstrating in Gaza and 16 killed, according to news reports. Some of the demonstrations are against the opening of the embassy, but most are tied to Nakba day, which the Palestinians commemorate today and tomorrow.

What's next ... Trump has made two campaign promises that deal directly with Israel: move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and get the ultimate peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • Fulfilling his first promise will make it much more difficult to implement the second. Since Trump's Jerusalem announcement in December, the Palestinians decided to cut all ties with the White House.
  • Be smart: The Trump "peace team" is still thinking about launching Trump's peace plan. But if the crisis with the Palestinians — the worst since 2002 — continues, it will be close to impossible to implement it.

P.S. Jay Sekulow — one of Trump's lawyers, and chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice — emails from Jerusalem:

  • "[T]he United States recognition of the reality that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Israel will go down as historically very significant."
  • "We are seeing the implementation of a foreign policy that is really the Trump Doctrine. Seizing the moment has been a critically important part of these historic days."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.