Pandith: Trump’s Move a Gift to Extremists

By Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith is an author, foreign policy strategist, and former diplomat. A world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, she is a frequent media commentator and public speaker. She served as a political appointee under Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and most recently she was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving both Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She has served on the National Security Council, at the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in various senior roles. She has also served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, chairing its task force on countering violent extremism. She is a senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School as well as an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.  She is the author of How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Busiess Leaders and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.

President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Wednesday, prompting approval from Israel, and a building rumble of protest across the Arab world. The following is adapted from a conversation with Cipher Brief network expert Farah Pandith, who warns Americans to stand by for blowback.

I think it is really central, not just for the short-term implications for our national security, but also the long-term ramifications. Jerusalem is really the eye of the storm. Vis-à-vis extremist groups, it is a rallying cry – an emotional place for a call to action. I can say that, as somebody who travelled to nearly a hundred countries around the world, talking to young Muslims from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia.

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