Days of Media Rage about Jerusalem: The bad arguments against recognizing Israel’s capital

Days of Media Rage about Jerusalem: The bad arguments against recognizing Israel’s capital. By Noah Pollak.

I lived in Jerusalem, Israel, for two happy years, and much of my work ever since has involved U.S.-Israel relations. I should know better, yet still I am surprised at the rending of garments and apocalyptic predictions pouring forth from western pundits over something that will not change a single stone in the holy city, or a single person’s access to its holy sites, or a single border—and that overwhelming majorities of Congress and virtually every president and presidential candidate has endorsed for decades. …

One of the first arguments critics make against recognizing Jerusalem is that it would so anger the Palestinians that the peace process would never recover. But the Palestinians have rejected every offer of statehood, and have not been willing to engage in real talks with Israel since the Bush administration. They’re already unwilling to negotiate, and were especially unwilling during the Obama years, when the president was openly acting as their advocate. If they are so incensed that the United States is finally acknowledging the plain fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel that they will never talk again, it tells us that a negotiated agreement was never possible in the first place. …

The most craven argument against recognition is that it will spark Arab violence. This argument is being aggressively promoted by former Obama administration officials and their media allies, and by Palestinian and Jordanian officials, who barely attempt to conceal their mau-mauing of western countries with threats of rioting and terrorism. The United States’ response to this tactic should be to tell them to pound sand. The United States cannot allow Middle Eastern rent-a-mobs to exercise a veto over our foreign policy, especially not on an issue in which the threat of violence originates in the rank anti-Semitism of Islamists who deny Jewish history in Israel and Jewish political rights in the region.

If the King of Jordan wants to send crowds of his subjects into the streets to riot, that is his problem. What has been pathetic and depressing to witness is the astounding number of western reporters and pundits who are happy to retail a messaging campaign that is barely distinguishable from blackmail.

Speaking of westerners who are happy to promote Islamist blackmail: The hypocrisy of their sudden concern for violence in the Middle East can only be described as shameless. The very same people — the Obama administration officials and their media and think tank friends — who made endless excuses for doing nothing about the mass slaughter in Syria or Iran’s takeover of Iraq/fueling of war in Yemen, and who cheered the nuclear deal with Iran, which filled the coffers of the leading state sponsor of terror with billions and put it on a glide path to nuclear weapons — these very same people are now so concerned about peace and stability in the Middle East that they need fainting couches over a speech that recognizes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. How stupid do they think we are?