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.

A few weeks ago the Daily Mail ran an incorrect story concerning Mike Huckabee as the new ambassador to Israel and concluded that like the annual four year cycle of presidential candidates promising to move the US embassy to Jerusalem then backing out is about to end permanently:

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist preacher and electric bass player, will become the tip of Trump’s spear as he seeks to shake up U.S. foreign relations in the Middle East, beginning with relocating America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

‘That’s going to happen,’ the transition official said. ‘Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.’

Well several weeks later we now know Trump’s ambassador to Israel is going to be David Friedman and it looks like while the Mail got the name wrong the end result might be the same:

Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel said he recognizes Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, breaking with longstanding U.S. foreign policy.

David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, said in a statement that as ambassador he would work to “strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,”

And the left (particularly J-Street which in my opinion seems to have the same relationship with the arabs as the rebels and deputy governor Quinn did with the Daleks in Power of the Daleks) is melting down big over it:

David Friedman is a prominent and successful attorney in New York who has spent 20 years representing Donald Trump, among other clients. He is also a proud Jew who holds unapologetic pro-Israel views that are heretical in Times-world, and he has also expressed acid disdain for the kind of Jewish anti-Israel activism regularly glorified in the pages of the Times.

So he must be destroyed—and to destroy him he must be lied about. Which is what the Times did.

The report, by Matthew Rosenberg, is a caricature of political frustration and resentment masquerading as news. The headline, of course, is “Trump Chooses Hard-Liner As Ambassador to Israel,” the phrase “hard-liner” being an all-purpose Times denigration of anyone who holds political views anathema to liberals, but never as a description of liberals who hold views anathema to conservatives.

While the left would disagree the likelihood that “Next Year in Jerusalem” is actually going to be true as far as the embassy goes is brilliant for several reasons,

  1. It puts all those crying “Trump anti-Semitism” into a bad box trying to explain to voters how this reconciles with their false meme of Trump the anti-Semite with this move.  And while the MSM will likely endorse the spin given to explain it, it won’t fly with voters.
  2. It takes advantage of the protests against Trump.  Any such move would likely be greeted by loud objections by the press, muslims and arab nations, but when everyone is already protesting and yelling about your very existence, such voices are likely to not be heard over the already existing din.  Perhaps Trump will thank these fools for ironically making the move easier for his administration.
  3. While the MSM has not talked about it.  The Democrat left and college campuses have become hotbeds of antisemitism on the left.  This move will undoubtedly produce angry proclamations about Jews that will be most embarrassing to the left and easily thrown in the face of both the MSM and the Democrat party.
  4. Before the election we saw businesses and nations which said things contrary to Trump’s positions suddenly change direction and embrace them.  Once the US puts the embassy in Jerusalem it’s not only going to stay there but I suspect a lot of other nations are suddenly going to think that idea might have merit.

In short, it’s drives all the right people absolutely batshit crazy and apparently Trump is not going to play the old game:

With Obama and Kerry gone, Israel can respond with closure and ignore the U.N. Trump is not a gradualist who will insist on a ceasefire so the besieged bad guys can regroup. Finally, several Arab nations have lost patience with Palestinian intransigence.

It’s time for something new. Nearly a half-century of the “peace process” has failed. Give back Gaza, and you get infiltration tunnels and rocket attacks. Stop settlements, and it makes no difference. The Palestinians still teach school children hatred and violence. Their leaders diverted economic aid to Swiss bank accounts or making rockets and building infiltration tunnels. The Islamists don’t care about real estate; they want to kill the Jews, all of them.

What’s in Trump’s head? He sees Israel as an ally that Obama undercut. He believes peace is more probable if the U.S. supports Israel. He is sending a message, with this ambassador and with moving the embassy, that the proverbial train is leaving the station. Time is running out for the Palestinians to come to the table.With Obama and Kerry gone, Israel can respond with closure and ignore the U.N. Trump is not a gradualist who will insist on a ceasefire so the besieged bad guys can regroup. Finally, several Arab nations have lost patience with Palestinian intransigence. 

This keeps getting better and better.

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baldilocks

Model of Ancient Jerusalem
Model of Ancient Jerusalem

I’m “reading” Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem—actually listening to the audiobook version from the Los Angeles Public Library. It’s a lot easier to get other things done this way, though it is sometimes necessary to scroll back when my attention wavers. With these big, sprawling histories, it’s easy to lose track of who the author is talking about.

Previously, I had checked out Montefiore’s The Romanovs: 1613-1918, but I didn’t finish reading it in the allotted 21 days and I couldn’t renew it because, apparently, it’s in high demand. When you want to renew a copy of an e-book or audiobook that other people are waiting for, you must return in and the library will remove availability to the book files. Then if you want to check it out again, you must put it on hold and go to the back of the line.

That’s how my unfinished “reading” of The Romanovs turned into my present “reading.”

And I said all that to point out something about these histories and about histories in general: I am grateful to God for being born at the time and in the place that I was.

From what I can tell about most of human history, sudden death, wasting disease, torture, dismemberment, and enslavement have been right around the corner for everyone: kings, priests, pashas, sheiks, emperors, scribes, nobles, serfs, slaves, and warriors. Up until very, very recently, all man- and womankind have had sudden destruction haunting them from infancy and if they made it out of infancy, the lifespan was usually no longer than 50 years. And let’s not even discuss the bathing and toilet accommodations!

And if you were a woman or a child, your body did not belong to you. Period.

Really, I am so tired of the whining that goes on about life in America. It isn’t perfect; no existence anywhere has been since Adam and Eve so severely miscalculated. As a matter of fact, life has been nasty, brutish, and—following the Great Flood—short. And poopy.

Now, too much time is spent coveting your neighbor’s private space to eat, sleep, copulate, and clean himself instead of appreciating your own private but smaller space to eat, sleep, copulate, and clean yourself.

That’s what I’m getting from Montefiore’s work—a sense of how good we all have it. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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at Israelly cool there is a seven minute video (that I can’t get the embed code for) where Einat Wilf a former Israeli moderate explains what changed her position. Two key quotes

I remember going back from those meeting deeply troubled thinking: These are the moderates, so if these are the moderates than the conflict between us is about far more than what I was led to believe.

This was because the Palestinian “moderates” while recognizing the reality of Israel, supported by a powerful army did not recognize any Jewish connection to the land, to them it was a complete fabrication and they expressed such sentiments openly.

And comparing her willingness to recognize the right of the arabs to self determination and their connection to the land vs the lack thereof drew her to an inescapable conclusion:

I realized they don’t recognize my right, they recognized my might, but, what happens the day I no longer have might? They merely reinforcing the notion that I have to continue to have might to survive here.

The difference between the Palestinians and the Jews is very simple.

If the Palestinians disarmed tomorrow, if they got rid of every single mortar, bomb, rocket and suicide vest that they used against Israel in that moment there would be peace because the Jews would live their lives and leave the Arab alone to live theirs and if by disarming they were threatened by someone like ISIS, Israel would protect them:

“Today, no Arab feels safe in his country,” he said. “Ironically, the sole exceptions are Palestinians in the West Bank because they know Israel will defend them if ISIS attacks. Even in Gaza, most people secretly believe that Israel is their ultimate protection against ISIS fighters trying to strike roots in the Sinai.”

If Israel disarmed tomorrow, the war would also be over, but for a different reason. The Arabs would also be alone to live heir lives, but not the Jews because starting in that moment the Arabs would begin exterminating every single jew from the Jordan to the Mediterranean until there wasn’t a single one left.

That’s the reality it took Einat Wilf half a lifetime to figure out, that the reality proved over and over in Europe these days.

American Jews thousands of miles away from both Jerusalem and Paris have the luxury of ignoring this reality.

Ms. Wilf does not have that luxury.

Update: Compare and contrast the jews who come to pray at the Temple Mount & the Arabs who harass them:

Via Elder of Ziyon who notes:

The entire time the Jews are being harassed and screamed at, simply because they are Jewish. The Muslims aren’t there for prayer or for reflection or even to play ball – their entire lives are focused on trying to prevent Jews from walking around in peace..

Exit question. If there was not Israeli “might” there to protect those Jews in prayer, how long would they live?

Update 2: The Harassment is not confined to Israeli’s:

A delegation of U.S. congressmen in Israel was harassed by a large group of Muslim men during a visit to the historically significant Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to a Jerusalem Post report.

Reps. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), Keith Rothfus (R., Penn.), and Evan Jenkins (R., W.Va.), who was also joined by his wife, were approached by several Muslim men when they ascended the Temple Mount.

The men were “surprisingly intolerant and belligerent,” according to Rothfus.

Can I get an #unexpectedly here?

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Something occurred to me on Sunday that I have not seen mentioned.

It is axiomatic that a video so poorly viewed is not the cause of the events of the Middle East since 9/11 the question becomes. If that is the case, then there has to be another reason.

It is true of course that our Islamic foes don’t need an excuse to attack but one other puzzle is this. The foreign policy of Barack Obama has led to advances for our foes why on earth would they try an event that might affect his re-elections chances & four more years of the same.

The answer unlike “The Innocence of Muslims” may have over 500,000 views.

During the Democrat convention the Arab Left won a notable victory. On Tuesday the Democrat Party adopted a platform that removed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Now as a person who disagrees with this, I was one of many on the right who pointed this out, we objected and hit the Obama administration over this change, but there is one critique that was present in none of our objections.

Nobody claimed that the decision made was not the legitimate will of the delegates.

For example, I’m an opponent of Gay Marriage, but when it passed in NY it was by a vote of the legislators. I objected strongly but these were the people’s representatives and the people have the right to be wrong.

There are Millions of Americans who do not support Israel, millions of the Muslim Arab Americans in particular. Regardless of how right or wrong we think they are as citizens they have the right to vote and contribute money to candidates and causes who agree with this premise. Even non citizens have a perfect right to make their opinions known and attempt to change minds in every legal way allowed.

Imagine if you are such an Arab American, you live here, you have no ties to terror, you arbor violence but you passionately believe the policy on Israel is wrong. As an American you fight to advance that opinion to the point where you rise to the level of a delegate at the convention of a major political party.

On Tuesday you win the platform vote and you are glowing, all that hard work, all that argument, time and expense has paid off. Yes platforms are the least read documents in history but it is the first step you have hope! Your voice counted! You played by the rules and YOU WON!

You go on-line to facebook and twitter you tell your friend and your cousins about what happens, you tell them “See you guys don’t get it back in the old country. You think America is owned by the Jews & infidels but look here I am, an Arab American who got involved and I won, and not a drop of blood had to be spilled and nobody had to get hurt.”

Then 24 hours later it all changes at the order of the party heads all you worked for is taken away. The platform is reversed and not only is it reversed but it is reversed by a dishonest method where your vote is specifically ignored on national TV. CNN’s camera’s focus on a person wearing an “Arab American Democrat” t-shirt so not only is the humiliation public, but it is specifically directed at Arabs.

And to put the icing on the cake the media insists that the change was by direct order of Barack Obama, the man who had supposedly been the best friend your position ever had.

What do you think the reaction might be at home to this? What might happen the next day when online you are informed “I told you so.” What if the hope for change becomes no hope at all?

Now imagine you are the Muslim Brotherhood, you consider Obama a “useful idiot” and you see all this unfold. You’ve told your followers to tread carefully to protect the useful idiot in the white house. What happens if you decide that the useful idiot is not useful anymore?

What might you do to remind that leader who betrayed you, who made you lose face before your followers that such betrayal comes with a price? Might it be a demonstration of your power, and his weakness?

Again this complete speculation, but given Arab culture, this would not surprise me one bit.

Of course it could be as Glenn Reynolds suggests all the by Obama bragging about scoring four touchdowns in one game killing Bin Laden.

There was a rather nasty incident that got no attention in the west press this week:

A 28-year-old worker in a moving company trying to reach Ma’aleh Adumim narrowly escaped a lynch attempt in the village of Issawiya in northeast Jerusalem on Sunday after his GPS device mistakenly directed him there.

Yes you read that right a Jew beaten in Jerusalem for being….a JEW!. Some details:

The realization that he was in hostile territory, he said, came “just as I made the turn, I figured out that I made a mistake, but I didn’t realize how big the issue was. This is Jerusalem. This is home.”

“Immediately when I made the turn a 12-year-old boy started screaming ‘Jew, Jew’. Each time he called out dozens more people arrived.” That is when they started throwing rocks and cement blocks into the car.

How did he escape?

Nir then described how his life was saved: “Someone came out of nowhere and tried to rescue me from the people; there was screaming but he managed to get me to his house. I was still scared, I didn’t feel safe, and the people in the house said they needed to get me out of the village or they would also come under attack. emphasis mine

Yup Arabs in a village outside of Jerusalem are under threat for daring to keep a Jew from being murdered.

Via Meryl Yourish who asks the obvious question:

Name a single incident where a Palestinian made a wrong turn into a Jewish village and was stoned by a mob.

Oh. Wait. That never happened.

and believe me if it did the left would be screaming about it. Loudly!

Here is a story that isn’t likely to break too far beyond Libya and Liz Taylor:

An bomb exploded Wednesday at a crowded bus stop outside the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, just opposite the central bus station. At least 25 people were wounded in the incident, four of them seriously.

Just a reminder that the folks who spend time beheading infants aren’t about to retire anytime soon.

Countdown to candy and cakes in the Palestinian areas in 3…2…

Update: What is the Palestinian response?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to put pressure on Israel to end the “escalation” of strikes in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.

But of course.

Interesting they have the mayor of Jerusalem on Morning Joe right now but they have also brought Fred Kempe to apparently “counterbalance” him.

Anyone who is talking about 1967 borders is not someone to be taken seriously.

Kempe and Pat are doubling teaming him, this guy doesn’t shake.

The Arab rights stuff is very funny when Arabs are treated better within Israel than in the Arab world while Arab areas are Judenrein. Why is that question never asked on these shows?