In November of 1995, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which stated that the US Embassy should be in Jerusalem. No President since then acted upon it, until now. It was never the right time. It was too expensive. It had to be part of a "comprehensive deal." The Europeans didn't like it. The Palestinians would be outraged. We would have war with Saudi Arabia . . . yeah, yeah. And, yet, Trump has done it, insisted on recognizing reality, and, yet, the sun rises and life goes on. Amazing.
I remember back in the 1980s, when I was just a young inconsequential State Department buck before I would grow into being an old inconsequential State Department stag, telling a colleague, who would go on to become quite senior in the Bureau of Near East Affairs, "Why don't we just declare our Consulate General in Jerusalem our Embassy?" His answer was an exasperated eye-roll followed by a condescending, "You can't do that." That was it. The wisdom as revealed by the State Department, "YOU can't do that."
And, yet, and, yet, guess what just happened?
You can do that. WE can do that. The U.S. Embassy is now in Jerusalem, having temporarily, in effect, swapped places with the ConGen while a new building goes up. And, yet, and yet, the sun will rise tomorrow.
The bien pensants, of course, are all besides themselves. Even many Democratic politicians--pace Chuck Schumer--who voted for the move now blather on about this is the wrong time; it sends the wrong message; the European "allies" oppose it; and, of course, what about the PEACE PROCESS? THE PEACE PROCESS?!? The Palestinians are never going to believe that we are honest brokers! My strand of pearls just broke!
So when will be the right time? When will the so-called Palestinians say so? The Peace Process, huh? More people have died during this 70-year "Peace Process" than in many a "War Process." All Israel's fault, of course--if only they were willing to help in their own murder . . .
The Europeans? I refer you to the Diplomad's number one rule of American Foreign Policy, "Never listen to the Europeans." They are just about always wrong. They are about keeping things the way they are at any particular moment, unless that moment favors the USA, and about making simple problems, complex, and complex ones, impossible.
Let's be clear. There are only two countries with any say about where the US puts its Embassy in Israel. Any guesses which two? Hint: Neither is in the EU.
Final thought on Europe: Maybe we should move our Embassy in Paris to Vichy?
Yes, before some MSNBC prog points it out, the Jerusalem Embassy Act had some vague language about the final status of Jerusalem being determined in some future peace process. Fine. That's up to the Israelis and with whomever THEY negotiate that, if they negotiate that. As far as I am concerned, and I'd love to hear our President say it, there already is a two-state solution in Palestine: Israel and Jordan. Up to them if they want to add a third state. Meanwhile, our foreign policy and interests in the Middle East cannot be held hostage to some future possibility that the leadership of the so-called Palestinians will finally stop trying to destroy Israel. I wrote about this here,
Let's start with basics. The whole Palestinian homeland bit is a massive scam. Palestinians are Arabs just like the folks in Jordan and Egypt--Arafat was born in Cairo. When the Arab states invaded the nascent state of Israel in 1948, they did not do so for a Palestinian homeland. They just wanted to kill Jews, drive them into the ocean, and eliminate Western influence from the region. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria intended to take the tiny parcel of land allocated to the Jews by the UN and keep it. No Palestinian homeland, no "two state solution," just another "final solution" which would have seen tens-of-thousands of Jews killed, including those born in "Palestine," yes, Jews were also "Palestinians." That's all. Period.
After the Arab states got their clocks cleaned, we began to hear the baying about a Palestine homeland which just so happened to coincide exactly with the boundaries of Israel. Amazing how that happens! Wherever Jews lived, THAT formed part of the Palestinian homeland. Jordan, of course, had the West Bank from 1948 to 1967; at no time was that then considered part of this definition of the "Palestinian" homeland. It was part of Jordan. There were no international cries to free that portion of Palestine from Jordanian occupation. The West Bank became part of the "homeland" only when Israel took it from Jordan in the Six Day War.
We also saw the amazing phenomenon of Palestinian refugees. Arabs displaced by fighting started by Arabs were dumped by Arabs on the tender mercies of the UN. The Arab countries wanted nothing to do with them. The UN being all about programs, of course, created the monstrosities known as Palestinian refugee camps, and established a massive money-sucking bureaucracy to administer them and beg for ever greater amounts of money--most of it from Western countries, including the USA.
He is calling, in no uncertain terms, for an end to the phony and destructive internationalism of the past few decades, the internationalism that has devastated towns and cities throughout the Western world, hollowed out once proud industrial centers, and made legions of mountebanks and blow-hards rich and powerful at the expense of the average Joe. He intends to use America's considerable clout to end that. He makes a good unvarnished case that doing so will benefit the "forgotten communities," and enable them, in the US, at least, to achieve a major portion of the American Dream, to wit, a good job, with good pay.
The world is formed of nation-states, and Donald Trump wants us to act in accordance with that reality.
Reality. What a revolutionary concept . . . .Happy 70th Israel.