The Diplomad Weighs in on Trump’s Decision for Jerusalem

A brief but ringing endorsement of Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy. Self-righteous heads are exploding, even though Clinton, Bush, and Obama made campaign promises to do exactly that.

The President Does the Right Thing

I am sure that the majority of my former colleagues at the State Department are besides themselves. Cries of “He did what?” “Jerusalem? He gave it to Israel!” “It’s the end of the world!” or something more radical than that are echoing the long increasing desolate and irrelevant halls of State in the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the US would now recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel, after all, is the only country in the world “not allowed” to designate its own capital.

Change is not something State does or deals with well. I remember being in a meeting back in the early 1980s at State when a senior official of the Reagan Administration told a group of us that the Reagan Administration fully intended to “roll back” the Soviet empire and put an end to the Soviet threat. The President, he said, was adamant that we would not be prisoners to past policies. Soviet Communism could and would be defeated, not merely managed. I remember thinking “Wow!” or something equally as profound; some of my colleagues afterwards, however, were scoffing, and making comments about how the Reagan people were “really, really dumb.” The USSR, they said, was not going anywhere; we would have to deal with them, in essence, forever. Ah, yes . . .

We are now seeing another moment of apoplexy by the bien pensants who tell us that the world is going to end because the President has recognized the capital of Israel as the capital of Israel. Facts are hard things for certain types. Trump’s acknowledgment of reality, they tell us, is going to get us all killed; it is going to put an end to the “peace process,” and give the Muslim world YET another reason to murder us in our own cities. OK.

So, if the President merely had gone along with the past 70 years of fantasy, and with the giving in to the Islamic crazies, peace would have broken out? We’ve had so much peace in the MidEast over these past seven decades, I guess, that it would be irresponsible to put that at risk. Is that the argument? Not too convincing.

I also guess it was anticipation of Trump’s 2017 decision that led to 9/11, 7/7, Nice, Paris, San Bernardino . . . yeah, sure. I am sure that the European countries now loudly opposed to Trump’s decision have nothing to fear from radical Islamic terror, no way would the Islamists hurt their “friends.”

President Trump did the right thing.

17 thoughts on “The Diplomad Weighs in on Trump’s Decision for Jerusalem

  1. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Trump called a halt to insanity even though he knew it would be difficult. The muslim crazies responded as expected but the decision has altered the landscape and likely improved the chance for a resolution down the line.

    • Congress passed this resolution in Clinton’s term and each president following after made the same empty promise about Jerusalem.

  2. I respectfully disagree with the comparison with the USSR. Way too much ink wrongly attributed the collapse to Reagan, when in fact the USSR collapsed because of its contradictions (poor, primitive propaganda apparatus compared to slick western advertising) and economic mismanagement. It was not the result of a lack of political freedom, either; the soviet citizens would have lived with that if their lives were improving by leaps and bounds. South Korea emerged as an industrial society under no lesser dictatorship than the post-Stalin USSR, and with only a limited economic freedom.

    • “South Korea emerged as an industrial society under no lesser dictatorship than the post-Stalin USSR, and with only a limited economic freedom.”

      I don’t believe this to be correct. After WWII when the Japanese were driven off the Korean peninsula the UN divided the peninsula and made Russia the protectorate of the North and the USA the protectorate of the South. So no, South Korea had unlimited economic freedom and that is plainly obvious by looking at the state of North and South Korea today.

  3. Trump immediately launches common sense and logic into all situations. Fifty years of failed “peace processes” failed. He’s stirring the pot to see who’s gonna pick the losers again. Then he’ll do what he does best – publicly humiliate them.

    • I vote for the French as the biggest losers.

      They’ll wring their hands about how terrible it all is, how awful Trump and the Israelis are, etc
      While losing control of their own country.

      Am I the only one who realises it?

      • The French stood by in 1683 when the Ottoman empire put Vienna under siege. They were in scavenger mode, hoping to pick up the pieces.

        Later, they paid the Barbary Coast pirates their jizya rather than repel them. England did, too. Both were too involved in the internecine European squabbles to be bothered. A very young America realized it was on its own and had to have open access to trade. Thus they built a navy and sailed for the Barbary coast to break up the Beys’ mafia scheme.

        • If we are in a French bashing mode, Napoleon signed peace with Russia; the treaty of Tilsit. The essence of it was, Russia would join the continental blockade and declare war on England, which it did. France would join Russia in the war with Turkey, which then ruled huge swathes of Balkan and Ukraine. Napoleon reneged on his end of the bargain, which soured the relationship. As we say, the rest is history.

        • The Barbary corsairs weren’t stopped by the brief and limited US punitive mission into the Western Med, it was stopped at sea by the RN in the aftermath of the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars, and then the French finished the job on land by invading north Africa and taking control of the Barbary ports from the Atlantic to the the Mediterranean narrows.
          At about the same time the RN was stopping the Barbary pirates they were also cleaning them out of the Caribbean, from the African coasts, and in south and east Asia, was well as interdicting the slave trade.

  4. I don’t know if I agree or disagree with Dymphna on this, but I do know that there is a considerable price to be paid for this move, including the probability of lives lost by murder. The joy with which this is greeted in some quarters seems oblivious to the price. Moreover, I don’t see how it advances US interests or, aside from its symbolic value, Israeli interests: it simply ratifies the de facto, but doesn’t change anything on the ground (although it’s repercussions may).

    I also note that one respected Israeli commentator, a woman on “the right” and a retired colonel, recently claimed that Israel should give up control of part of the city,
    and should take away the citizenship of Arabs living there.

    I will close with a quote from Dan Shipiro, former US ambassador to Israel, who made an interesting observation when he said (Ref 1):

    The missed opportunity here, though, is the failure to frame this decision in the context of achieving our broader strategic objective, which is a two-state solution. That would have required better prior consultation with Arab states. That would have required more clarity for what the Palestinians could expect as part of their aspirations for Jerusalem,” he said.

    Ref 1.

    • Shapiro’s term as an ambassador was a political appointment by Obama. Since Obama, like the two previous presidents before him, consistently lied when they promised to move our presence from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I would expect him to obey the party line.

      Trump is keeping his campaign promise to do so, unlike his predecessors.

      Given the moral morass of our State Dept, I wouldn’t expect any other reaction than the one you cited. That is why I cited The Diplomad.

      See his post today:

      And here is the DiploMad’s profile:

      W. Lewis Amselem, long time US Foreign Service Officer; now retired; served all over the world and under all sorts of conditions. Convinced the State Department needs to be drastically slashed and reformed so that it will no longer pose a threat to the national interests of the United States.

      I’m with him. Shapiro is a political prediction.

    • For anybody who still believes a two state solution is possible, I have numerous bridges to sell, some of which have never fallen down, and all are paved with rainbow unicorn poop.

  5. I am more than delighted Trump made the decision to move to Jerusalem, for one main reason: it shows the US will make its own decision, without worrying about the disapproval, or threats, from other governments and terrorists. If someone wants to act against the US, bring it on.

    As far as the Middle East politics, in which the US should not be involved anyway, nothing will change. The Palestinians will continue to plan to kill Israelis as the opportunity presents, Iran will threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia will maintain its de facto alliance with Israel against Iran and surrogates, and Islamic fanatics will blow up less-fanatic Muslims.

    But, a US that makes up its own mind and acts on it…nothing could be better. It’s more convenient for US diplomats, who will not have to drive to Jerusalem every day to meet with Israeli government officials. Nothing could more vividly illustrate countries in decline than England, Germany, Italy condemning the move and predicting violence.

    If the Palestinians wish to make a really effective protest to the move, they can refuse to take the aid checks from the US.

  6. So Dan Shapiro writes:

    “That would have required better prior consultation with Arab states. That would have required more clarity for what the Palestinians could expect as part of their aspirations for Jerusalem.”

    Hmm, what, indeed would prior consultation with Arab states have achieved? To receive an earful of outraged indignation, hostility and threats? To give them time to organize more and larger mass protests, organize more arson attacks and attempts to kill people? Note the very high-quality and uniformly-sized “Palestinian” flags at that demonstration in Beirut. Who do you think paid for and produced these flags: Hezbollah.

    One doesn’t need to consult anybody to understand with crystal clarity that the Palestinians’ aspirations for Jerusalem are these: get rid of all the Jews, destroy all the synagogues and eradicate any physical sign of Jewish presence contemporary and historical. The Jordanians did this very thoroughly in 1949-67. The only reason they didn’t destroy the Western Wall is because it serves an essential structural purpose in holding up the Temple Mount.

    It is truly amazing to compare the environs outside the Jaffa Gate with those outside the Damascus Gate. In the former the traffic and people move in a quiet, orderly way, the streets are clean and lined with landscaping. In the latter, half an hour later, it is a chaotic din of taxi drivers swarming all over the roads, honking loudly and purposelessly, yelling at each other and at pedestrians; everything is shabby and the pavements are littered with trash – and this takes place with Israeli municipal government running things.

    Head north to Ramallah outside Israeli jurisdiction: the taxis, cars and pedestrians behave the same way as outside the Damascus Gate, just more extreme. Most of the buildings are half-built ruins; the city is one chaotic, trash-strewn jumble. And one does not feel at all safe.

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