The New American Embassy Punctures the Fantasy of an International Jerusalem

Today, the U.S. will officially open its new embassy in Jerusalem. Nadav Shragai explains what this event does, and does not, signify:

[T]he transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is another nail in the coffin in which [the Trump administration] placed UN Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, which called for the internationalization of Jerusalem [along with the partition of Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states]. This metaphorical coffin is the consequence of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017. Now, it would seem, [internationalization] is being laid to rest in its grave. . . .

At the same time, to put matters into proportion, it is worth stating [that], contrary to the lamentations and threats of war on the Palestinian side, but also in contrast to the fanfare and sense of victory on the Israeli side, this is neither cause for another Nakba [“catastrophe”] for the Palestinians nor a second November 29, 1947 celebration for Israel. The embassy transfer is primarily a snapshot of the situation and de jure recognition of what already exists de facto: Jerusalem, and definitely its western part, where the United States is now putting its embassy, is the capital of Israel. The United States, as opposed to most other countries in the world, recognizes this reality and has given it recognition and its seal of approval.

Does this mean that the concept of the internationalization of Jerusalem will never be tossed back into the international arena in the future? No. . . . At the same time, the fact that a power like the United States has effectively erased the internationalization option with regard to the entire area of Jerusalem is very significant. . . .

[Meanwhile], the Arab world is divided. The (comparative) silence of Egypt and the Saudis on [the transfer of the embassy], which Jordan has also joined, have made it easier for President Trump to go through with it. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan will also benefit from generous future economic and military aid from the Trump administration. They are part of the coalition that Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are building against Iran and the organizations and countries that are helping it, including Hizballah, Hamas, Syria, and Turkey. The Saudis and Egyptians have expressed formal opposition to Trump’s actions, but they have been careful not to push the boundaries on this issue. Jordan, which at first appeared to join in with Turkey, has taken a step or two back.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Israel & Zionism, Jerusalem, Jordan, U.S. Foreign policy


Nikki Haley Succeeded at the UN Because She Saw It for What It Is

Oct. 15 2018

Last week, Nikki Haley announced that she will be stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. When President Trump appointed her to the position, she had behind her a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, but no prior experience in foreign policy. This, writes Seth Lispky, turned out to have been her greatest asset:

What a contrast [Haley provided] to the string of ambassadors who fell on their faces in the swamp of Turtle Bay. That’s particularly true of the two envoys under President Barack Obama. [The] “experienced” hands who came before her proceeded to fail. Their key misconception was the notion that the United Nations is part of the solution to the world’s thorniest problems. Its charter was a vast treaty designed by diplomats to achieve “peace,” “security,” and “harmony.”

What hogwash.

Haley, by contrast, may have come in without experience—but that meant she also lacked for illusions. What a difference when someone knows that they’re in a viper pit—that the UN is itself the problem. And has the gumption to say so.

This became apparent the instant Haley opened her first press conference, [in which she said of the UN’s obsessive fixation on condemning the Jewish state]: “I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. . . . I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

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More about: Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations