Moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will not set off a region-wide Mideast war. Maybe it would have five or ten years ago, but now it won’t. So let’s just do it and get it over with. I discussed this with host P.J. Maloney on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh a few minutes ago.
This isn’t the same Mideast as five or ten years ago. The Israel-Palestinian conflict was never the center of the Mideast universe, but now, most parties in the region understand that. Well, actually, they understood that all along, but Arab leaders were willing to use the conflict, dragging the UN, US and Europe along, as a way to deflect the attention of their own people away from their own chronic problems.
No more. Or at least, not as much.
With a Mideast realignment well underway, Israel has been quietly brought in to the Arab alliance against Iran. That is despite Israel’s unfriendly policies, to say the least, toward the Palestinians and Arabs in general. It’s a matter of common interests, not deep, abiding love–and that’s the way the world works.
So moving the US Embassy to the western part of Jerusalem, which has been Israel’s capital since 1949 (note that this is two decades before Israel captured and annexed east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim), will indeed set off a firestorm of protests and attempted terror attacks against Israel.
And then it will be over, because it just isn’t that important in a region where there are issues like Syria, Iraq and Iran.
And as for attempted terror attacks–there are attempted terror attacks all the time. Arab terrorists don’t need an trigger like an event–all they need is backing and opportunity. Tying their attacks to events, as they do, is just a way of getting more publicity.
Moving the embassy to the Jerusalem building that’s already there and waiting for the sign change from “consulate” to “embassy” will get a non-issue off the table and may actually spur activity to find solutions to the real issues. A new concept is what’s needed, because as you’ve read here, the “peace process” reached its logical conclusion twice, in 2000 and 2008, with Israeli offers of a Palestinian state–but it didn’t bring peace. Here’s an example of what I’ve written about that.
I’ll look at new approaches in upcoming posts.