Dec 1, 2017

White House: No Israel embassy decision this week

Trump hasn’t ruled out moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Photo: Sebastian Scheiner / AP

President Trump isn't going to announce a decision this week about whether the U.S. will move its embassy to Jerusalem, an administration official tells us. "The President is still considering options," the official said, noting that Trump already has a full plate with the North Korea missile launch, the tax bill in the Senate, and other issues.

Yes, but: That still leaves the door open to an announcement in the near future. And the administration official didn't rule out an embassy move: "The law passed in 1995 states that the Embassy should be in Jerusalem. As the President has made clear, it is a matter of when, not if."

What to watch: Israeli officials think there is a chance Trump will sign the waiver and not move the embassy for the next six months, but at the same time declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. If that happens, it will likely cause an angry response from the Palestinians and some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The big picture: The status of Jerusalem is one of the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A presidential announcement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel will make it harder for the Trump administration to promote the peace initiative it has been working on for the past few months.

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Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.

American society is teetering on the edge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment and escalating social unrest are all pushing American society close to the breaking point.

The big picture: Civilizations don't last forever, and when they collapse, the cause is almost always internal failure. Even in the midst of one of our darkest years, the U.S. still has many factors in its favor, but the fate of past societies holds frightening lessons for what may lie ahead.