By DANIEL LARISON
The American Conservative
Trump speaks before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Trump is reportedly going to announce that the U.S. embassy in Israel will be moving to Jerusalem:
The Israeli government considers it extremely likely that US President Donald Trump will declare in the next few days that he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that he is instructing his officials to prepare to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, an Israeli TV report claimed Wednesday.
The Hadashot news report came a day after US Vice President Mike Pence said Trump was “actively considering” moving the US embassy.
Presidents have routinely issued a waiver to block the relocation of the embassy for more than twenty years. Trump signed a waiver to this effect in June, and the next deadline comes up on Friday.
Like many previous presidential candidates, Trump had promised during his campaign to relocate the embassy if elected. If this report is correct, it seems that he may follow through.
That would be consistent with the extremely one-sided hawkish “pro-Israel” views of his administration and his party, but it would represent a break with decades of U.S. policy and risks triggering a new round of violence between Palestinians and Israelis. There is a real chance that it could be the spark that leads to a third intifada with all of the destruction and loss of life that would entail.
Moving the embassy would be a reckless symbolic gesture that threatens to have very serious consequences for Israeli and Palestinian security. It is a sop to hard-liners and extremists that benefits no one. It goes without saying that doing this would snuff out what little hope of resuming peace negotiations still remains, and it would gain the U.S. absolutely nothing except more opprobrium and hostility throughout the region.