by Ludwig Watzal
The US embassy will not be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before a peace deal between Israel and Palestine is reached. Having talked to the Arab leaders, US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have finally understood the importance of such a move. It would be an offense not only for the Arab world but also for international relations, international law, and the US in particular. Saying something on the campaign trail is one thing, acting as US President means something else.
The Trump administration will weigh the decision in the light whether it will support the peace process or not. Trump should not be led astray by Benjamin Netanyahu who argues that such a move would help the peace process and would shatter Palestinians fantasies. So far, Israel never made concessions after they got their wishes fulfilled. The different US administration can tell the world a thing or two about it. Trump should know that Netanyahu’s word can’t be trusted. In 2011, French President Nikolas Sarkozy told President Obama: „I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.“
Right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennet called on Netanyahu that he should tell President Trump to move the embassy because „united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.“ This kind of „independence“ is an Israeli wishful thinking because the international community doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because the city is still under Israeli occupation. The moving of the embassy would only strengthen the Israeli position and would make the Netanyahu government more rejectionist.
Despite Trump’s pro-Israel bias, the national interest of the US still prevails over the dictate of a tiny country, at least for the time being. Especially one guy is extremely furious: Casino mogul and Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson who donated millions of US dollars to the Trump campaign and who wants his wishes fulfilled.
Adelson, it is said, reacted furiously after Tillerson’s comments on NBC’s „Meet the Press.“ The casino tycoon was also upset because the Trump administration hasn’t hired some of the one-sided Middle East advisers from the Clinton or George W. Bush administration. If Trump is smart, he should not rely on these people because they all put Israeli interests over US ones.
If the Trump administration moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, the US would isolate itself on the international scene. The self-image of a so-called „honest broker“ wouldn’t mean a thing. At least, right now, it means little. On October 23, 1995, the US Congress passed „The Jerusalem Embassy Act“ to foster the move of the US embassy. But up till now, every US President had paid lip service to this call but didn’t act. So, why should Trump keep his campaign promise?
The Trump administration should put pressure on Netanyahu to stop the expansion of settlements to restore its credibility in the Middle East. Netanyahu will do everything in the world, to drag the US into a war with Iran. Obama could resist this pressure. Hopefully, Trump will also for the benefit of the US. Israel wants to destroy Iran, to expand its hegemony from the Persian Gulf to Marrocco. To control this region, Iran is the last obstacle.
Perhaps the Trump administration has learned something from the mistakes made by George W. Bush. He has led the US into never ending wars against fictitious wars on terror. As a candidate, Trump seemed to have understood it. Will he be as wise as US president?