Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Has Produced Lasting Gains

On May 14 of last year, the Trump administration relocated the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On the one-year anniversary of the move, much of the Israeli press criticized it as a failure, pointing out that only one country—Guatemala—has followed the U.S. in transferring its own embassy, a decision that could easily be reversed after the next Guatemalan election. Evelyn Gordon disagrees:

What President Trump’s decision accomplished . . . was to break the global taboo on thinking and talking about the idea [of putting a nation’s embassy in Jerusalem]. Never again will recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital be inconceivable. Indeed, in many countries, it has already become a hotly debated option. And the more the idea is discussed, the more realistic the possibility becomes.

A few countries have already gone beyond talk and taken preliminary steps down the path to full recognition. For instance, Australia didn’t move its embassy, but it did recognize western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year. That disappointed many Israelis, who view the entire city as Israel’s capital. But it’s a major advance from where Israel was before Donald Trump, when not a single country in the world recognized any part of Jerusalem as its capital. . . .

Trump’s decision also accomplished something else important: it permanently slayed the myth that recognizing Jerusalem would spark massive violence in the Arab world. The U.S. embassy move sparked no violence anywhere except among Palestinians, and even that was short-lived. Consequently, no country contemplating such a move in the future will be deterred by fear of a bloody reaction.

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Australia, Donald Trump, Jerusalem, US-Israel relations

 

The Logic of Iran’s Global Terror Strategy

During the past few weeks, the Islamic Republic has brutally tried to crush mass demonstrations throughout its borders. In an in-depth study of Tehran’s strategies and tactics, Yossi Kuperwasser argues that such domestic repression is part of the same comprehensive strategy that includes its support for militias, guerrillas, and terrorist groups in the Middle East and further afield, as well as its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Each of these endeavors, writes Kuperwasser, serves the ayatollahs’ “aims of spreading Islam and reducing the influence of Western states.” The tactics vary:

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Latin America, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy