Capital Losses by Ruth King

Promises! Promises! One cannot count the number of times that our leaders, from the White House to Congress, have issued the call to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s  capital city Jerusalem. Those empty words fill the air during election cycles. Nonetheless the American Embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

What is an American Embassy on foreign soil? Here is how the State Department describes it:

“The mission of the United States Embassy is to advance the interests of the United States, and to serve and protect U.S. citizens. An embassy is the nerve center for a country’s diplomatic affairs within the borders of another nation, serving as the headquarters of the chief of mission, staff and other agencies. …

“Embassy staff interact with host governments, local business and nongovernmental organizations, the media and educational institutions, and private citizens to create positive responses to U.S. policy and the U.S. in general.”

There is absolutely nothing here that precludes placing the American embassy in Israel’s capital. Moreover, an embassy implies recognition of a country’s sovereignty and its status as a nation.

The United States currently does not have embassies in North Korea, Iran, and Bhutan. In Taiwan, there is no longer an embassy, but, rather, an “American Institute in Taiwan” located in the capital Taipei. Here hangs a cautionary tale for Israel, demonstrating how an embassy’s location impacts a host nation’s legitimacy.

In order to appease China’s tyrants, heeding Henry Kissinger’s advice, Nixon visited China in 1972, accepted mass murderer Mao’s “one China” policy and opened the door to more diplomatic ties.  These were fully implemented in 1979 when President Jimmy Carter broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan and moved our embassy in Taipei to Beijing. In short order Taiwan lost its seat on the Security Council and was ousted from the United Nations. Its security and sovereignty have thus been weakened.

Out of the 192 UN member states, 161 currently recognize Israel. Thirty-one Arab/Moslem nations have no diplomatic exchanges with Israel.

There are currently over 86 embassies in Tel Aviv (not including honorary consulates). Due to America’s implied pressure, of the thirteen nations (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Netherlands, Panama, Uruguay , Venezuela) that had earlier established embassies in Jerusalem, none remain.

As justification, the U.S. State Department claims that Jerusalem is “disputed territory.” This is balderdash, and the fully staffed United States embassy in Kosovo proves the hypocrisy of this argument.

In Kosovo, although 114 nations offered recognition in 2008, there are only 21 embassies in Pristina, the U.S. among them. Many nations question the legitimacy of Kosovo which was historically part of Serbia, and is considered “disputed territory.” Accordingly, Kosovo is not a member of the United Nations.

Why does the U.S. have an embassy in Pristina and not in Jerusalem? This upside-down diplomacy can only be explained by a stubborn anti-Israel bias that has always existed in the State Department swamps.

President Trump made lavish promises to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Will he do it?

Compared to difficult foreign policy issues– North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria– this is small potatoes. And contrary to the hand wringers there will be no serious repercussions.

Maybe Mugabe, the tyrant who despoiled a once thriving country, will issue a protest to the United States embassy at 172 Herbert Chitepo Ave in what is left of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.  Most other countries have other, more pressing concerns.

 

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Article by Ruth King

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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

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June 2017
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