Trump Gives Israel What They Want Without Negotiation

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Above Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/ Flickr

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Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital is Bi-Partisan and Makes Peace Negotiations Unlikely

Note: While there is anger at Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the truth is support for this decision is bipartisan. As Alexander Haig said Israel is the unsinkable battleship for the US in the Middle East and US foreign policy is on only one side of the Palestine-Israel conflict. The US is should not be the country that negotiates peace because it is aligned with Israel. There will be no peace negotiation after this decision. The Israelis got what they wanted without negotiation.

Both Parties Pushed Trump Toward Reckless Action on Jerusalem

President Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy would be moved to that multi-ethnic and multi-faith city. No other government in the world formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or has its embassy there, instead basing their diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv.

Observers familiar with this volatile issue agree the decision further reduces the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace, raises serious questions in relation to international law, and risks a violent and destabilizing reaction targeting U.S. interests globally.

In the 1947 United Nations partition plan, Palestine was to have been divided between a Jewish and Arab state, with Jerusalem and surrounding areas designated as an international territory under U.N. administration. Instead—as a result of the first Arab-Israeli War—by 1949 Israel had annexed the western part of the area and Jordan the eastern part, but the international community refused to acknowledge either claim. Following the Israeli conquests of 1967, Israel annexed Palestinian-populated East Jerusalem and surrounding lands as well.

Though Trump’s announcement did not explicitly recognize Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, the Israelis have long insisted that recognizing Jerusalem as its capital means recognizing the entire city under their exclusive control.

Though Trump’s announcement did not explicitly recognize Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, the Israelis have long insisted that recognizing Jerusalem as its capital means recognizing the entire city under their exclusive control.

No government outside Israel recognizes this illegal annexation or supports the idea of a Jerusalem united under exclusive Israeli sovereignty. Until now.

No government outside Israel recognizes this illegal annexation or supports the idea of a Jerusalem united under exclusive Israeli sovereignty. Until now.

The near-universal opposition to Trump’s decision by much of the military, intelligence, and foreign policy establishment is not out of concern for the fate of the Palestinians or international law. Rather, they fear that effectively recognizing exclusive Israel control over the third holiest city in Islam will provoke a backlash throughout the Islamic world. Reactionary clerics and other Islamist extremists, building on centuries of resentment going back to the Jerusalem’s conquest by the Crusaders nearly a millennium ago, will likely take advantage of popular outrage over the decision to encourage violent attacks, including terrorism, targeting U.S. interests.

In fact, Trump may be seeking just such an outcome. Since launching his presidential campaign, he has gone to great lengths to stoke bigotry and fear against Muslims, as exemplified in his recent decision to retweet misleading anti-Muslim videos compiled by a British neo-fascist group. Any rioting and acts of terrorism by Muslims in reaction to Trump’s decision would only reinforce his narrative and his agenda for restricting immigration and bombing Muslim countries.

Trump’s announcement is actually the culmination of years of pressure by a large bipartisan majority of Congress and leaders of both political parties towards the White House. It represents the fulfillment of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandates that the United States move its embassy to Jerusalem, though the bill allows a president to waive that requirement every six months if deemed in the national interest.

In the Senate, the bill was cosponsored by such prominent Senate Democrats as Joe Biden and John Kerry and only one Democrat (the late Robert Byrd) voted no. On the House side, just thirty out of 204 Democrats voted no, along with the independent then-Congressman Bernie Sanders.

Since then, every President has taken advantage of the waiver to prevent such a provocative move, despite continued bipartisan pressure from Congress. As recently as this past June, just days after Trump issued his first waiver of the requirement, the Senate voted 90-0 in favor of a resolution re-affirming the 1995 law and calling on President Trump “to abide by its provisions.” Co-sponsors included such leading Democrats as majority leader Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin, ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden.

Schumer has openly encouraged Trump to move the embassy and previously criticized his “indecisiveness” on the issue.

Support by Congressional Democrats and party leaders for moving the embassy is not due to demand from their constituents. A recent poll shows that 81 percent of Democrats oppose moving the embassy while only 15 percent approve. And polls show there is not strong support for such a move among American Jews, either. This is an extreme example of how the Democratic leadership and Congressional delegation diverge from their constituencies on major foreign policy issues.

The platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties have called for recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but failed to acknowledged that Jerusalem is the commercial, cultural, educational, and religious center for Palestinian life.

For decades, the platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties have called for recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Neither party has acknowledged that Jerusalem is the commercial, cultural, educational, and religious center for Palestinian life.

In 2012, then-Los Angeles mayor and current California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, violated party rules by inserting an amendment into the Democratic Party platform recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without the requisite two-thirds majority. In the 2016 platform, nominee Hillary Clinton—an advocate of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem—successfully pushed for language declaring that Jerusalem “should remain the capital of Israel” while again saying nothing of Palestinian concerns.

Trump’s dangerous and provocative move regarding Jerusalem—like so many of his reckless policies both abroad and at home—requires strong, broad-based opposition. It is unfortunate that, at least in this case, there is no real opposition party.

  • Helen4Yemen

    They were crying “holocaust” when there was no holocaust in 1936

    In 1936 they were crying wolf about the “holocaust” and at the same time were asking for the doors of Palestine to be open for them. How many times was PALESTINE mentioned in this New York Times announcement of 1936?


    The New York Times – published May 31, 1936

    Pro-Palestine Federation Asks Britain to Take a Strong Course in Holy Land.


    Petition Urges It Be Made Clear to ‘Turbulent Element’ That These Will Be Carried Out.

    Special to to the New York Times.

    The New York Times – published May 31, 1936

    WASHINGTON, May 30 (1936) – A petition addressed to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin expressive of the hope that Great Britain will steer a course favoring the establishment of a free Jewish nation in Palestine such as would provide refuge for millions of persecuted Jews in Eastern Europe and Germany was presented to Sir Ronald Lindsay, the British Ambassador, today by a Christian delegation representing the Pro-Palestine Federation of America and headed by the Right Rev. James F. Freeman, Episcopal Bishop of Washington.

    The petition, in expressing the opinion of enlightened Christian leadership in the United States, favoring a larger Jewish immigration into Palestine, stressed the intolerable sufferings of the millions of Jews in “the European holocaust.

    Urges Definite Policy

    It suggested the need for a clear and definite policy on the part of the British Government in the carrying out of the stipulations of the Palestine mandate.

    The “sincere belief” was voiced that, in a time when bigotry and prejudice seem “to have engulfed a major portion of the civilized world, the Anglo-Saxon community of nations is called upon to blaze the trail for the dawn of a new era of freedom, justice and human enlightenment.’

    The petition was signed by Samuel Harden Church. president of Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Dr.S. Parkas Cadman, president of the the Union of Congregational Churches in America; Ivan Lee Holt, president of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ, St. Louis, Mo.; Frederick B. Robinson, president of City College, New York; John Haynes Holmes. Community Church, New York; W. R. Hopkins, City Manager, Cleveland, Ohio, and George Gordon Battle. New York.

    The Pro-Palestine Federation of America is a national organization of American Christian sympathizers and supporters of the Jewish national home cause, with offices at 307 Fifth Avenue, New York.

    Text of Petition

    The text of the petition follows:

    The plight of millions of human beings in Eastern Europe and Germany has stirred the conscience of enlightened mankind. Mere compassion and commiseration with the sufferings of these victims of prejudice and persecution, however, are not enough.

    Bold practical measures to save these unfortunate millions from total annihilation are now called for. It is the consensus of enlightened Christian American opinion that God has bestowed upon England one of the greatest missions in human history the salvation of Israel and restoration to its ancient patrimony.

    Great Britain has it within her power to throw open the gates of Palestine and let in the victimized and persecuted Jews escaping from the European holocaust.

    Enlightened Christian opinion in America is now eager to see the provisions of the Palestine mandate carried out. It is eager to see the settling of the Jews in the land facilitated in accordance with the stipulations of the mandate. Above all it would welcome the removal of any impediments and obstructions to the social-economic development of the country, which untimely and premature projects of self-government would cause, in the present condition of the country.

    Recognizes Problems

    We are mindful of the complex and difficult task faced by His Majesty’s government in Palestine. We also appreciate the anxiety and sincerity with which the Palestine Government is grappling with the problems there. We, however, feel that the right solution calls for a definite policy, which should once and for all, make clear to the turbulent element in Palestine that His Majesty’s government, as mandatory power, will carry out its tenet to help transform Palestine into a Jewish homeland to which the persecuted Jews of the world may freely come, and where they may have the right to constitute themselves into a free nation. It is our fond hope and sincere belief that in the present grave world emergency, when the dark specter of bigotry and prejudice seems to have engulfed a major portion of the civilized world, the Anglo-Saxon community of nations is called upon to blaze the trail for the dawn of a new era of freedom, justice and human enlightenment. The restoration of the land of Israel to the children of Israel is the guiding star in this great struggle for a better world and a better humanity.


  • Both the above article and the comment shared below from the 1936 NY Times announcement urging the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine as a refuge from the violence being unleashed across Europe are testaments to the deeply rooted cultural violence within humanity. The historical acts of violence that led to the founding of the Israeli state in Palestine following WWII have been followed by decades of more violence escalating today towards the global confrontation in the middle east that many already fear is the beginnings of WWIII, a war which human civilization may not survive. The ledgers on all sides are filled with the red blood of the innocent. The economic conditions imposed upon the German people after WWI by the western bankers were the seeds of all the violence to follow. And we could continue to go back and back and back in the human history of the economic violence inflicted by the few upon the many. The foundations of all human relationships to one another and to our shared planetary womb are the traditionally evolved monetary market economics and the endless ledgers document the debt imposed by the wealthy upon the poor. The very conception of a child being born into wealth or into poverty is a violence imposed by these blood soaked ledgers. Through humanities clever technical innovations, we are in the process of digitizing those ledgers in the cloud of cyberspace using blockchain and AI. Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten that we are all only human and fallible. That what has truly made humanity great is our capacity to share not just the resources necessary to sustaining life through community but the sharing of ideas that have allowed us to create every culture, all science and the very ideas that are the foundations of our blood soaked ledgers. We define our relationships with ideas.

    And so our legal institutions, international laws and secret deals define our relationships to other members of our human family whom we have never met and probably never will, yet we decide based on our ledgers who will live and who will die. This accounting has at times become so blatant that most of us are appalled. The prisons, the open air concentration camps of Palestine and the ghettos of nearly every major city today incriminate us all as complicit in the never ending blood soaked ledgers of violence that are now making the cradle of our own birth increasingly inhospitable to human life. Ideas, only ideas drive us ever deeper into the insanity of monetary driven behaviors. Like lemmings rushing headlong into the sea, we will drown in a sea of imaginary debt if we fail to embrace a different set of ideas to define our relationships. I forgive you your ignorance even as I forgive my own. We have never known any other cultural truth than the one into which we are born, conditioned from birth into a violence that now poses an existential threat to most of the life ecosystems of our birth.
    I rant about these ideas because the only way we evolve our cultural environment is through dialogue and the sharing of ideas. A rapid cultural evolution seems our only true hope of ever realizing any degree of sustainable peace. Even to merely survive will probably require an almost unimaginably rapid degree of cultural evolution over the next few decades.

    Culture, composed entirely of ideas, is the other world we are born into. We all share the natural world of the Earth. We don’t all share the same cultural world, yet we are all dwellers on two planets, one natural and one cultural. We cannot change the laws that determine the causality of the natural world we all share, but we alone define the rules of our cultural worlds and the causal cultural conditions we choose to impose. When those culturally imposed conditions conflict with the causality of the natural world, the culture either evolves or perishes. Natural law is not conditioned upon what we believe. Our behaviors are shaped by both natural and cultural conditioning but in the final analysis, it is only the cultural conditioning that evolves to better reflect the causality of natural world conditions not the other way around. This is where we can discover the only cultural common ground upon which to establish a sustainable and human culture. I am not by any means suggesting that all culture should be homogenized. Culture needs only to be harmonious with the natural limitations imposed by real world causality. I, for one, am so tired of the seemingly endlessly culturally generated conflict and violence that defines human civilization today. We are sufficiently challenged by immutable nature and our inadequate understanding of natural causality to suit me. As far as I am concerned, we cannot bury the blood soaked ledgers of our culturally imposed, self inflicted violence in the past fast enough.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Although a quick scan leads to agreement with Zunes (who once [and still?] consistently refused to acknowledge the power of Zionism over the US body politic), I don’t need him to write, repeat, and repeat again: SCREW TRUMP!! SCREW THE ZIONIST ENTITY SO-CALLED ISRAEL!

  • chetdude

    How to create more “terrorists(tm)” to justify more treasure pissed away on the bloated war machine…

    While inflating the “value” of his own stock portfolio and that of his family and friends…