O ver the past century, most of the world’s nations have approved the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish People. What, then, explains their alarm at Trump’s acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? What is so pivotal about this city that the world cannot abide its spiritual significance?

It’s happened. The UN General Assembly has officially condemned President Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite his not-so-veiled threats to stop aid to nations that came out against him. And they came out against him en masse. Apparently the issue means so much to them that they were willing to risk losing handouts from rich Uncle Sam.

A couple of weeks ago, I raised a question in this space: How did it happen that the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago and the proclamation of a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael 70 years ago were supported by a vast majority of nations, yet Trump’s announcement — seemingly the capstone of those historical events — was met with universal opposition bordering on hysteria? I cited sources explaining that the process of Geulah requires the nations’ recognition of Am Yisrael’s right to return to its ancestral land. And the Geulah of Am Yisrael is meant to bring redemption to all the peoples of the earth. Why, then, did the nations who encouraged that process over the past hundred years now change their tune, and vehemently oppose Donald Trump’s declaration? What is different in this case?

The question only deepens when you consider that the president hasn’t taken any action; all he’s done is make a formal statement. And it may be a hollow statement at that. The US embassy won’t be moving to Jerusalem any time soon, if at all. You can trust the State Department to put a spoke or two in the wheel of that presidential decision.

But for some reason, the nations of the world are blowing a gasket over it. If it were only the Arab states condemning Trump, it wouldn’t be surprising at all. But why is faraway China so agitated? And what possessed a German radio announcer to devote three-quarters of a news broadcast to the American president’s declaration and the ensuing demonstrations around the world, complete with ceremonial burning of the American and Israeli flags, and not necessarily by Arabs or Muslims? And why was the European Union so dead set against Trump’s statement that it compelled its member states, even those that were interested in voting in favor, to refrain from doing so? What’s going on?

Most ludicrous of all was Egypt’s request last week that the UN Security Council issue a resolution demanding that Trump withdraw his statement. Nikki Haley, America’s stalwart ambassador to the UN, was quite right in saying that the draft resolution, and the subsequent need to defend her country’s status as a sovereign nation, were an embarrassment to the Security Council. Yet every European nation in the Security Council voted for the embarrassing resolution, followed by the absurd sequel in the General Assembly. Oh, and let’s not forget the megalomaniac president of Turkey, who is already talking about building an embassy to Palestine located in Jerusalem, its “capital.”

If you’re seeking a logical explanation for this whole frenzy, you won’t find it in political terms. It can’t be explained by citing any country’s national interests. Even if you allow a nice dollop of anti-Semitism, it doesn’t add up — because the root cause lies much deeper. To make sense of what’s happening, we must view it from a spiritual perspective, as revealed in our holy sources.

In the Zohar we find the prediction: “And the children of Yishmael are destined at that time to rouse all the peoples of the world to come to Jerusalem, as is written (Zechariah 4), ‘And I shall gather all the nations for war over Jerusalem’ ” (Bereishis 119).

Rav Moshe Cordovero gives a frightening explanation of those words, although he does not mention Jerusalem explicitly: “And all the peoples will form an alliance and turn upon Israel to destroy it… because they established a kingdom, and it will be a time of trouble for Yaakov. They will not come to destruction, however, but will be saved from it.”

But before we try to understand the implications of those words for us, let us look at one more pasuk: “For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch” (Yeshayahu 62:1). The Targum elucidates, “Until I bring salvation to Zion, I will give no rest to the nations, and until Jerusalem is comforted, I will not give peace to the kingdom.” In other words, there will be no world peace before there is peace in Jerusalem. No peace before the Geulah.

Jerusalem, we see, is destined to create a frenzy among all the nations. It is clear from the Zohar that the Ishmaelites — i.e., the Arabs — with their fantasies that Jerusalem is their age-old inheritance, will succeed in convincing all the nations to side with them. In Michtav MeEliyahu (Vol. III, p. 183), Rav Dessler explains why the redemption of all mankind, including world peace, can only come about through the redemption of Yerushalayim, through the revelation of G-d’s glory in the Kingdom of the Mashiach: “Peace and tranquility cannot come to the nations, neither in the East nor in the West, in the way that they imagine.” I highly recommend studying his complete profound explanation.

Jerusalem, not just as a symbol but as an entity, is the focal point of the ultimate redemption, in which human history will reach its goal. After the Six Day War, Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Herzog (son of the former chief rabbi of Israel and an accomplished Torah scholar in his own right, who served as secretary to Ben-Gurion and ambassador to Canada), wrote a pamphlet entitled Am Levadad Yishkon, in which he says that Jerusalem will yet be revealed as the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and this is borne out by the words of the pasuk, “and they cast lots for Jerusalem” (Ovadiah 1:11).

Just recently I saw a citation from 1955, quoting Prime Minister Winston Churchill telling a foreign ministry official in charge of Middle Eastern affairs, “You ought to let the Jews have Jerusalem. It is they who made it famous.”

My gut feeling is that the world’s collective subconscious is aware of the deep significance of Jerusalem, and it bothers them, for it challenges their desire to live a life confined to the values of This World. When they sense the underground shock waves that come with the awakening of eternal Jerusalem, they instinctively want to prevent the process.

With his formal public statement, Trump brought those underground shock waves to the world’s conscious attention. As a result, the Zohar’s prediction came to pass: virtually all the nations of the world came together to vote against Yerushalayim, without even understanding what was really bothering them. But because of Trump’s declaration and the outcry that followed it, Jerusalem is now not just another news item, but a sensation. A really aggravating sensation. With Jerusalem on everyone’s radar, no one will remain indifferent when the day of Geulah comes and the news goes forth from Mount Zion.

Thank you, Mr. Trump. (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 691)