Two Views of Jerusalem

One point of view concerning President Trumps decision to obey the law and move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (Congress mandated the move before the turn of the century) is summed up by the headline on a post at Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Brett Unread: Trump Throws Gasoline on Middle East Fire by Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capital. There’s not much original thought in the BU piece by “Staff Writer”—just a bunch of cut-and-paste from the usual suspects such as CNN and the NYT.

A more insightful view is outlined in a piece over at Bloomberg: Trump Teaches Palestinians About the New Middle East. The article begins by noting that the Sunni Arabs are more concerned about Iran than the West Bank. Indeed, there are signs that the Sunnis are ready to consider a three-way alliance with Israel and the U.S. to roll back Iranian expansion.

And so, Israel’s full participation in the Trump-Sunni project comes at a price. Netanyahu has a vision of how to solve the Palestinian issue. It includes a unified Jerusalem legally belonging to Israel, as well as continued West Bank settlement and, if there ever is a deal, a demilitarized Palestinian entity. The alternative — no deal — is okay with him, too.

Seen this way, Trump’s move today is not a Hanukkah present at all.  It is a down payment. How long will it take to build that embassy? Three years? Four? No rush. Time is on Israel’s side.

Read the whole thing.

Geography 101: Countries & Capitals

Mitt Romney gets an A.

It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

UPDATE—Mitt Romney also remarked on a significant difference between Israeli and Palestinian culture. The Israeli culture has resulted in greater economic success.

Of course, Palestinian spokesman Saeb Erekat immediately accused Mr. Romney of raaaaacism. Nonsense! First of all, the Jews and the Arabs are essentially the same racially. Second, even if they were not, the remark has to do with culture not some inherent racial difference.

It was Jewish settlers who made the desert bloom in British Mandate Palestine, and it was the Jews who left refugee camps in the 1940s to build a modern economy.

Give Mr. Romney extra credit and an A+ for get this correct as well.

UPDATE—Mr. Romney understands how culture affects economic performance.