Good for President Trump in defying what was probably the majority of opinion among his advisors in his foreign policy administration in his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After all, at least his last three predecessors have made the commitment to do so, but he is the only one who made good on the promise, which in fact is, as he called it, “a recognition of reality”. And to no one’s surprise, the professional street mobs in the Middle East and elsewhere dutifully hit the streets in protest over the damage done to the “peace process”, and of course the United Nations responded in kind, with a resolution condemning the recognition by a vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley had some very appropriate words in response to this vote, including a pledge to the General Assembly that we will remember those who voted “yes” when it comes time for UN funding or other favors requested by our “friends” in the organization.
More on the continuing joke that the UN continues to be another time, but suffice to say that the constant criticism and condemnation of Israel by UN resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council over the years have done considerably more damage to the so-called peace process than anything contemplated by this recognition. In fact, one of the most shameful episodes took place just as Barack Obama was on his way out the door in December 2016, when the U. S. abstained in the vote on a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem. As I wrote at the time, the refusal to veto this resolution was a betrayal of the worst kind because it was dishonorable, very likely done in spite of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and it is probably irreversible in terms of its damage to our only reliable ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, not to mention the severe damage done to any hope of peace. The resolution changed diplomatic agreements going back to 1967 and it denied Israel legal claims to the land, including holy sites such as the Western Wall, while reversing the land-for-peace formula that has been in place for five decades, while then Secretary of State John Kerry referred to East Jerusalem as “occupied territory”. Obama, Kerry, and their crowd should be reminded that there has never been a Palestinian “people”, nor has there ever been a Palestinian state or any state in the geographic area known as Palestine that was not Jewish. Anyone with any insight into this issue knows that the primary barrier to peace is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state within any borders. Any damage done by our symbolic recognition of Jerusalem pales in significance to this shameful chapter. We should get on with moving our embassy to the legitimate Israeli capital city.