Dear Mr. President-Elect and Mr. Prime Minister,
You understand that you are being tested, do you not?
Mr. Trump, they want to know if you are as tough as you say you are and if you will live up to your promises. And Mr. Netanyahu, will you for once confront an issue head-on instead of finding a way to deflect it?
I’m talking about the embassy.
Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since the cease-fire agreements were signed in 1949. The Knesset, the seat of Israel’s government, has been there ever since except for a few months in 1949, when it met in a Tel Aviv theater while a more permanent location was prepared. Jerusalem was also the capital of the Kingdom of Judah under King David around 1000 BCE. Israel has never had another capital.
When the city was divided and part of it was occupied by Jordan, it remained the capital of Israel. Even if under some hypothetical “peace” agreement the city were to be re-divided, it would still be the capital of Israel. The argument that recognition of this fact somehow presupposes the outcome of negotiations or is an obstacle to peace is ludicrous. Nobody is talking about putting the embassy in a disputed part of the city. It would be no different than the Knesset.
Some point to the 1947 UN partition resolution (UNGA 181), which called for all of Jerusalem to be placed under international control, as a justification for denying Israel’s clear title. But this resolution was a non-binding recommendation and it was never implemented, since the Arabs chose to try to settle the question of a Jewish state by war. If the US Administration and State Department insist on this, then they should also insist that much of the Galil and a chunk of the Negev also don’t belong to Israel, following the map of resolution 181. They don’t, because they realize that it would be insane to do so.
The non-recognition of Israel’s capital is no less than a denial of Israel’s sovereignty. What else does it mean to say that a state can’t choose its own capital city on its own territory?
Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu, if you do not proceed with the transfer of the embassy, you will be allowing the gang of murderers and thieves that the international community – and the Israeli government – has cravenly anointed as the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, to exercise a “terrorist’s veto” over this overdue recognition of Israel’s sovereignty.
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat recently said that such a move would create “chaos, lawlessness and extremism.” He also promised that “the infuriated Arab public” around the world would force US embassies in their countries to close (presumably by means of rocks and firebombs). Erekat said that moving the embassy would legitimize “Israel’s illegal annexation of eastern Jerusalem.” I hate to repeat myself, but how does moving it to western Jerusalem do that?
Erekat’s comments are meant as a threat that he will invoke the terrorist’s veto. He knows that you, Mr. Trump, don’t want to see US embassies worldwide under siege, and that you, Mr. Netanyahu, don’t want to be blamed for yet another intifada in which Israelis, Jewish and Arab, will die. The gangsters of the PLO are confident that this technique – that they have employed countless times – will be successful yet again.
But appeasement is not the way to respond to terrorism. Surely we’ve all learned that by now! If the US embassy may not be located in Jerusalem, then why should the Knesset and the Prime Minister’s office be there? If Jerusalem isn’t part of Israel, why is Tel Aviv? Maybe the Jews should all move “back” to Poland, Iraq and Russia?
Giving in to blackmail seems like the easy way out, but in the end you will pay ten times as much.
This is a test, Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu. Please don’t fail it.
Just a thought I’ve been harboring with regard to Trump’s promise to move the embassy – if he does indeed move the embassy to Jerusalem, does this move serve the purpose of deflecting any potential criticism he could otherwise have levied on him by failing to break up the agreement with Iran? i.e., “I moved the embassy to Jerusalem, so you can’t give me **** about Iran.”
I’d rather he deal with the Iran agreement first, honestly. The world can recognize or not recognize whatever the hell they want for all I care, if they don’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital then I don’t recognize their non-recognition. To hell with ’em.
As for Trump, I don’t want a situation where his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital affords him political capital to get away with other stuff.
Iran – that goes beyond recognition and symbolism.
Just my two cents. Great post as usual!
It can’t happen by law until at the earliest June 1st. Obama earlier this month re-signed the presidential waiver to delay the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem. It doesn’t lapse again for 6 months, so the earliest the move can occur is June. I’m not sure if this is something that Trump can rescind. I read an article that Trump’s team has already been exploring logistics and scouting locations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry. The Trump team’s advance work on moving the embassy, is being conducted without coordination with the State Department and officials there “deeply dislike” the idea!
Sa’eb Erekat & the PLO have threatened that if the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem, popular Arab outrage would follow and force the closure of all American embassies in the Arab world. Why should assumptions about Arab anger be a deterrent to moving the embassy?
Elder of Ziyon points out:
I just did a quick search in Arabic news sites to see if there is any anger over this possible move of the embassy. There is very, very little. For the most part, this is not even a story, although some Arab news outlets are covering it dispassionately. Of all the things for Arabs and Muslims to worry about in an impending Trump administration, moving the US embassy from one part of Israel to another part within the Green Line is not even on their radar.
The Left is apoplectic about the embassy move. They are making a bigger deal out of the US embassy move than the Arabs are!
The State Department’s PC insistence on the diplomatic fiction that none of Jerusalem is part of Israel helps preserve the Palestinian hope that, someday, Israel will be forced to give up its capital and will be destroyed as the independent, democratic Jewish state.
That Palestinian lie is one of the main obstacles to peace. The Palestinian Arabs– and perhaps the Arab world of which it is a part – will finally come to understand that international pressure will never force Israel to acquiesce in its own destruction. One of the best ways the US can demonstrate that it will never consent to the Palestinian destruction of Israel is for Washington to stop ignoring blatant Palestinian lies that work against peace.
And the American Consulate in Jerusalem must finally begin to serve not just Palestinians but also Jews, and if they don’t comply, then it must close. Lastly, I am completely confident that President-elect Trump has every intention to follow through with the Iran boondoggle and to move the embassy.
As an aside, I was very relieved with his statement today on the UN and the actions he took in conjunction with Netanyahu to nix Obama’s anti-Semitic treachery with the Security Council.
As far as I know the waiver does not imply that the embassy cannot be moved until it expires. All it means is that the president is not required to move it as the law requires. It says
“the president may suspend the limitations set forth in section 3(b) for a period of six months if he determines and reports to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”
This doesn’t seem to imply that Trump has to wait.
Thanks Vic! That is very good to know.
I am very angry what Obama did @ the UN, but not at all surprised. Actually, I have worried about this very scenario for more than 6 months. Israel’s pre-1967 “borders” — the “borders” Palestinians, Obama and the UN insist Israel pull back to —
represent a severe security liability to Israel and are only armistice lines which reflect the deployment of Israeli and Arab forces when the 1948 armistice agreement was signed. They were never borders.
When Abba Eban, Israel’s then foreign minister, spoke at the UN following the Six Day war, he described the fragility of Israel’s 1949-1967 map as Israel’s “Auschwitz” lines. “We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz. This is a situation which will never be repeated in history.” – Abba Eban, Israeli Statesman, in Der Spiegel, November 5, 1969
At one of the narrowest points in central Israel, the entire width of the state from the coastal town of Netanya to the armistice line is a mere nine miles. By any military standard, the pre-1967 “borders” lack minimum defensive depth — an overarching principle of military doctrine for all armies. There is insufficient battle space for a defensive force to redeploy after being attacked; there is no room for reserves to enter or counterattack; and there is no minimal distance between the battle front and the strategic interior necessary for any army to function. Obama is the first US president to have made this demand regarding the ’48 armistice lines. These lines violate current international law if they are mandated by one side to become borders.
According to international law, the Jewish people are the sole beneficiary of Self-Determination in the land that was Mandatory Palestine. The rights of the Jewish People to Palestine are enshrined in three legally binding international treaties. These rights have not expired and are still in full force and effect.
Netanyahu, who I am a fan of, does share some of the blame because he never embraced the Levy Report or the last two or three of Kontorovich’s legal research papers and never makes the case that the settlements are legal. He just argues they are not an obstacle to peace. He left the field wide open for the UN to pass this resolution.
Obama allowing the security council to pass this resolution banning Jews from Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria creates significant problems for Israel. It’s binding international law and will lead to BDS on steroids. It opens the door for the very flawed and corrupted(?) ICC to take up the case. All that aside, Israel can ride that storm. Just reducing or cutting off US financial support for the UN and/or the PA is insufficient. And for certain there will never be a negotiated solution. It’s time for unilateral action.
For the record, the settlements are not illegal either because the Fourth Geneva Convention doesn’t make them so or it doesn’t apply to these lands. I believe that this resolution is ultra vires the UN Charter. The UN has no right to set the borders. It may only act to keep the peace. Also remember the hateful Zionism is Racism and a form of Racial Discrimination resolution was repealed – it took 16 years but it was finally repealed in 1991.
Something more is needed than just reducing or cutting off US financial support for the UN and/or the PA. Israel, Trump and Congress should decide what to do in keeping with the 2016 GOP platform which was unanimously passed. Then do it!
1) Personally, I think Israel should Build!
2) After January 20, 2017 start annexation process of Area C and anything needed for security in B.
3) Any trouble in any PA Areas remove the PA and start martial law there.
4) Deport or imprison anyone involved in terrorism including support activities.
5) Declare the Oslo process over and stop Israeli funding of the PA. Confiscate any Hamas, Islamic Jihad or other terrorist organizations properties and funds.
Peace can come only from strength in the middle east and many other places of the world also. Peace can only come when the illusion of a Palestinian State is destroyed. God bless Donald Trump!