Editor's Note: Mr. Blackwell is an advisor to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
When the Germans moved their capital from Bonn to Berlin, the U.S. Embassy in Germany moved to Berlin, too. When the Brazilians moved their capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia, the U.S. Embassy followed suit. When Jimmy Carter extended diplomatic recognition in 1979 to the People’s Republic of China, the U.S. Embassy on Taiwan shut down and our diplomats obediently opened up shop in Beijing. So where is the U.S. Embassy in Israel?
It’s in Tel Aviv. It’s probably the only case of a U.S. Embassy not being in the city that the host country claims as its capital. And there’s a reason our embassy is not in Jerusalem: We don’t want to antagonize Israel’s Arab enemies.
This point gains special significance now that President Obama has sent former Sen. George Mitchell to Jerusalem. Mitchell is Obama’s enforcer. Mitchell’s task is to pressure Israel to “freeze” settlements in Judea and Samaria, on the West Bank of the River Jordan.
In his speech in Cairo earlier this month, President Obama essentially bought into the Arab position on Israel—that the creation of the Jewish state in the Middle East was a result of European guilt for the Holocaust. This position ignores the historical fact that Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria—and in their capital of Jerusalem—since long before their Roman conquerors dispersed thousands of Jews throughout the known world. Zionism—the political movement that holds that Jews have a right to return to their ancient homeland—began seriously in the 1890s. That was long decades before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.
Obama’s bad history is now leading to even worse diplomacy. Jimmy Carter, perhaps panting for another Nobel peace prize, is in the Mid-East, planning to meet with others who want to de-stabilize Israel. Hamas—the terrorist gang that controls the Gaza Strip—will roll out the red carpet for the former U.S. President.
Carter calls all Jewish settlement on the West Bank “illegal and [an] obstacle to peace. The Israelis took Carter’s advice on Gaza. They dismantled all their settlements there. They handed over the land to the Palestinians. They followed Carter’s formula of land for peace. And what did they get? Hamas control of Gaza and 6,000 Hamas missiles raining down on Israel. Some deal. Some peace. It might better be called Carter’s “Piece Plan”—handing over territory to Israel’s sworn enemies—piece by piece.