Russia Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital. Why Can't the U.S.?

(Wall Street Journal) Eugene Kontorovich - Jerusalem is the only world capital whose status is denied by the international community. To change that, in 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates moving the U.S. Embassy to a "unified" Jerusalem. The law has been held in abeyance due to semiannual presidential waivers for "national security" reasons. President Obama's final waiver will expire June 1. There's no good reason to maintain the charade that Jerusalem is not Israeli. Last month Russia suddenly announced that it recognized "western Jerusalem" as the capital of Israel. Note what happened next: No explosions of anger at the Arab world. No end to Russia's diplomatic role in the Middle East. No terror attacks against Russian targets. Does the U.S. want to wind up with a less pro-Israel position than Vladimir Putin's? If Mr. Trump signs the waiver, he could make clear that unless the Palestinians get serious about peace within six months, his first waiver will be his last. He should set concrete benchmarks for the Palestinians to demonstrate their commitment to negotiations. These would include ending their campaign against Israel in international organizations and cutting off payments to terrorists and their relatives. The writer, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, is an expert on international law.

2017-05-15 00:00:00

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