So who is helping to shape President Trump’s comments on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Well, if he can be believed, and that’s a pretty humongous “if”, it’s Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer.
To be clear, Trump isn’t actually moving the U.S. embassy in Israel (currently located in Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem. He’s just going to talk about it and let people pat him on the back for making the announcement.
None of the previous presidents since 1995, when the Jerusalem Embassy Act was signed (naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stating that the U.S. would move their embassy to Jerusalem) felt the need to make such a show out of it.
To begin with, they all grappled with the logistics of it, and then signed waivers to avoid acting, every six months.
It can also be assumed they weren’t crippled with insecurities that required they receive constant praise.
Schumer’s take is surprising, however, as liberal Democrats don’t tend to look favorably on Israel, to say the least, or show any real spine in supporting it as an independent nation with national interests.
Schumer is saying that he’s advised Trump to publicly recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided” capital of Israel.
THAT… is bold.
Schumer himself told JTA that he supported the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and criticized Trump over his “indecisiveness” on the issue.
“President Trump’s recent comments suggest his indecisiveness on the embassy’s relocation,” Schumer told the news agency. “As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the US Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem.”
That would definitely be a strong statement, whatever the political motivations of Schumer may be here.
Trump’s comments, as referred to by Schumer, are from an October interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), where he said he’d like to give an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal “a shot,” first.
Said no other president before him.
I’ll say this, just because Schumer is Schumer: This may be a ploy on his part to create turmoil in the Middle East, so Democrats can later point and say, “See what Trump did?”
Barring that near-inevitable end, however, his statements are on point.
Schumer said the move would “appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the US definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
I agree. I just don’t see it happening.
This article has been updated since its original posting. 1:23pm 12/6/17, by Caleb.