On Moving the US Embassy, Trump Was Right the First Time

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirms that, as previously reported, President Trump is re-thinking his campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem:

President Donald Trump is assessing whether moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would help or hurt prospects for clinching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, revealing Trump’s criteria for a decision that could reverberate throughout the volatile Middle East.

Since taking office, Trump has backed away from his campaign pledge to move the embassy in a gesture to Israel, instead saying he’s still studying the issue. But Tillerson linked Trump’s deliberations directly to his aspirations for brokering Mideast peace.

The last thing any American president should try to do is “broker Mideast peace.” It is a fool’s errand, at best; at worst, it strengthens our (and Israel’s) enemies.

“The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process,” Tillerson said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

There is no “peace process.” Israel is, already, one of the few peaceful places in the Middle East. The Palestinian Territories are a mess, but there is little a hypothetical agreement with Israel can do about that.

Palestinians argue moving the embassy would prejudge one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict, undermining America’s status as an effective mediator.

The U.S. has no business being a mediator between Israel and those who want to destroy Israel and murder Jews. There is nothing to mediate, and nothing to be gained by a pretense of neutrality. Israel is our ally, the Palestinians are not.

Donald Trump seemed to understand this during the campaign, but now he apparently is getting caught up in the “peace process” chimera that has ensnared so many of his predecessors. Trump was right the first time: the U.S. embassy in Israel should be located in that country’s capital, as it is, to my knowledge, in every other country in the world.

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