Big Red Car here on a lovely ATX day. Nice and sunny, but cool.
This Monday is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. It is also the day that the United States will convert its Jerusalem consulate into the mother ship — the United States Embassy in Israel. [The US has had a consulate in Jerusalem for decades. They are simply renovating and re-flagging the consulate.
This was first directed to be done by the US Congress in 1995 during the Clinton administration. The law provided that the executive branch could waive this directive every six months for a “good reason” which Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump did until President Trump announced – “That’s it, y’all. The US Embassy moves to Jerusalem. Now. I promised I’d do it and by God I will.” [Note: This is one of the reasons why a lot of people support him. He does what he says he’s going to do.]
What does this mean, Big Red Car?
There are several considerations, dear reader.
1. It has been US policy since 1995 that Jerusalem would be the location of the American Embassy.
Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama all failed to act. President Trump did it.
2. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, candidate Trump promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and to stop kicking the can down the road.
Promise made. Promise kept.
3. Not only did President Trump move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is big.
4. A huge bone of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian angst has always been the issue of Jerusalem.
The Israelis captured all of Jerusalem (West Bank and East Jerusalem) from Jordan during the 1967 War (the Six Day War). It is often thought of as being a “spoil of war.”
This – the recognition of the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – settles the issue in some small way.
5. What it does not do is to preclude a sharing arrangement wherein Israel would cede East Jerusalem to the Arabs to the Palestinians as their capital. This is not going to happen as long as the Palestinians (Hamas) continue to attack and kill Jews.
Jerusalem, bit of history, Big Red Car?
Jerusalem has been a problem for a long time, since the founding of Israel itself.
1. Jerusalem is a “holy city” to three religions.
2. So obvious was the conflict that in the November 1947 UN Partition Plan the United Nations simply drew a circle around the city to indicate that both the Jews and the Arabs had valid claims to the city.
The Partition Plan was an attempt to carve up Palestine between the Jews and Arabs. Israel used it to establish its existence, but the Arabs never created an Arab state.
The lack of Arab/Palestinian leadership in creating a state is a huge problem in the resolution of this matter.
3. Israel fought a War of Independence in 1948-49 against the assembled Arab nations which wanted to kill Israel in its cradle. The war ended with West Jerusalem in Israeli hands and East Jerusalem plus the West Bank (west bank of the Jordan River) in Jordanian hands. Israel became a nation.
4. The United Nations ignored the situation until the 1967 War (Six Day War) which resulted in the Israelis wresting the West Bank and East Jerusalem from the Jordanians.
Through the years, there have been multiple attempts to coerce Israel to return to the pre-1967 War boundaries, sometimes called the Purple Line.
The problem with this solution, from the Israeli perspective, is that the Jordan River (like the Suez Canal and the Golan Heights) provides a logical military obstacle to forestall enemies from attacking Israel as well as a formidable defensive barrier.
Having been attacked by the Arabs in the War of Independence 1947, the Reprisals, the Suez Crisis 1956, the 1967 War, the War of Attrition (1967-70), the Yom Kippur War 1973, the South Lebanon Palestinian Insurgency 1971-82, the Lebanon War 1982, the South Lebanon Security Zone War 1982-2000, the First Intifada 1987-93, the Second Intifida 2000-05, the 2006 Lebanon War, the Gaza War 2008-9, the Pillar of Defense Operation 2012, the Protective Edge Operation 2014, the current messiness in Gaza, and the Syrian fighting versus Iran — WHY WOULD ISRAEL SACRIFICE ANY ELEMENT OF ITS SAFETY?
What is the Jerusalem solution, Big Red Car?
The solution is a pill nobody wants to take – the establishment of the Israeli capital in West Jerusalem, and the establishment of an Arab/Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
The answer is too obvious.
The turd in the punch bowl is the necessity for the Arabs to form a state.
Why such a long explanation, Big Red Car?
Because by President Trump taking the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, one moving piece is now solid.
Jerusalem, last points
The current mess in Syria, with Iran and Israel engaged in open warfare, will delay any serious resolution of this problem.
Israel and Iran are going to fight a war in Syria which may spill over into Israel. If so, it is going to be a major conflict.
The United States’ improved relationship with Saudi Arabia is an enormous improvement in getting this problem solved. Of course, Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Yemen. Sides have been chosen.