When President Trump announced the move of our Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the New York Times, among countless other media venues,assured us it would set the Muslim world – most especially Palestinian Arabs – on fire.
But did it?
Excerpted from the Times’ article, written by Isabel Kershner:
As the clashes have simmered on, sporadic and limited in scope, Bethlehem, like the rest of the Palestinian territories, seemed suspended in a kind of limbo. With residents neither basking in seasonal cheer nor raging in the throes of a new intifada, the popular mood in the city was more one of hopeless resignation.
Many Palestinians in Bethlehem described their own leadership as feckless and confrontation with the Israelis as futile.
“It’s been sold,” Muhammad Abu Sabaiyya, 41, said of Jerusalem as he sat idly in his empty car repair shop. “Those who are not going out into the streets know it was all already agreed to with our government.”
Mr. Abu Sabaiyya’s cynicism echoed a widespread sentiment as he stared out at the separation wall adorned with graffiti, including a recent addition: an image of Mr. Trump wearing a black skullcap.
Yet, despite the dire predictions of major turmoil, and the best efforts of both Fatah and Hamas to mobilize the masses, so far there has been no large-scale, spontaneous outburst of violence in the wake of the president’s declaration.
For The New York Times, this is another example of reality colliding with editorial spin – nothing new to The Times these days.
Illustratively, in its December 5th editorial The Times stated that such a move would constitute “tossing aside decades of American diplomacy” – with no mention, of course, of the fact that, in 1995, congress overwhelmingly voted for this embassy move, and the only reason it hasn’t been effected until now was because three previous presidents ignored that vote.
The editorial then goes on to lament the “fact” that moving the embassy would make the “ultimate peace deal” promised by President Trump “almost certainly harder to reach”
In that regard, The Times is correct. But the reason is not that the embassy move made such a deal harder to reach, it is that a peace deal, at present, is impossible to reach regardless of where the embassy is because Palestinian Arabs have rejected every deal ever offered – and that President Trump, in all too typical fashion, made a bloviating promise he could not keep.
Bottom line: the relocation of our embassy, at least so far, has not set the Muslim world on fire. Let’s all hope that status remains quo for as long as possible.