What would Americans do if other countries and the United Nations told us our actual capital was Los Angeles? We can say it’s Washington DC all we want, but shouldn’t we just accept it if the international community decides they want Los Angeles to be the capital? Of course not.
This idea seems to be lost on those who refuse to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Now, President Trump can be counted as one of those people who, despite very clear campaign promises, has decided to do what every U.S. President has done for years. He’s proactively not moving the U.S. Embassy there.
It’s important to note that this is an active decision. If he had done nothing, it would have been on the State Department to make the move immediately or lose funding. Instead, the President waived a law requiring the move. This doesn’t jibe with a simple campaign promise.
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” he told an extremely excited crowd.
As Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, and others in his administration would note, any such move would do damage to America’s relationship with Muslim nations in the Middle East. They claim East Jerusalem as theirs, often claiming that it’s part of their religious history. What they won’t tell you is that it isn’t mentioned in the Quran. Not once. They also aren’t interested in the fact that it was claimed as the Jewish capital over a millennium-and-a-half before Islam was even established.
None of that’s important when feathers might be ruffled, right?
The notion that this is a temporary move is ridiculous. There’s never going to be a good time to keep this campaign promise. Never.
Some might throw up a silly argument that we don’t need to mess with international affairs, that Trump’s “America First” pledge supersedes all other promises. They might even say we can’t afford it (though we can somehow afford everything under the sun in the spending agreement DC just passed), but that’s even sillier. Trump could say, “We’re going to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and Israel’s going to pay for it.”
They would. In a heartbeat.
The list of broken promises is already piling up almost as quickly as President Obama’s did when he took office in 2009. The difference is that President Trump is passing on some of the easiest. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a layup. Whether it’s his advisers, some backroom deals he made with Muslim countries, or influence from “the orb” that’s making him backtrack, this is not what we were promised when we put him in the White House.