How Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Can Improve Prospects for Peace

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman - At the Paris summit, John Kerry spoke carelessly about an "explosion" - upon which radical Islamists might feel obliged to deliver - if the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem. As has been so often the case in the past, however, it is the very attempt to placate Palestinian and Arab demands that makes peace less likely. A hard dose of realism may well set the stage for serious negotiations. No Israeli government in the foreseeable future will divide Jerusalem, relinquishing the rights of the Jewish people in the very place that has been the focus of their aspirations for millennia. Some changes in the line of sovereign control are possible in outlying areas, but that is not what the Palestinians have in mind. What they want is a dramatic outcome that will confirm, retroactively, that the Jews never had a birthright in their own homeland and holy city. The language of UNSCR 2334, and the atmospherics of the Paris Conference, encourage such unrealistic expectations among the Palestinians. The sooner they are disabused of these notions, the better. After all, this is about moving the U.S. embassy to West Jerusalem, which even the Palestinians acknowledge is part of Israel. The writer is former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel's National Security Council.

2017-01-24 00:00:00

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