Roger L. Simon

Time to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem to Save the Two-State Solution

When a terrorist drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem over the weekend, killing four and injuring seventeen, Hamas and Fatah (the Palestinian Authority military wing) predictably rejoiced. The PA itself — which normally condemns terrorism, at least pro forma — was not forthcoming. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas didn’t immediately make a statement in response to Sunday’s attack. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Abbas was apparently concentrating on other matters.  He had something far more important on his mind than yet another bloody terror attack perpetrated by his would-be countrymen — the possibility that the U.S., under Donald Trump, would actually move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Indeed, Abbas has evidently written to Trump urging him not to change the embassy location, Palestinian media were reporting Monday. According to Wafa, such a move would have a “disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region,”

Really? As opposed to what? The U.S. embassy has been in Tel Aviv since 1966 and almost nothing positive has happened. The 1993 Oslo Accords have come and (more or less) gone. Through all this, the Palestinians have shown little indication they want a two-state solution or “security and stability” of any sort.

What we have had is outbursts of terror, long and short, intermixed with quieter periods when Palestinian leaders enrich themselves at the expense of mostly American and European taxpayers, while doing absolutely nothing to advance peace.

Someone or something must be done to shake up this stultifying pattern, this useless “bribe culture,” and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is as good a place to start as any. It would signal to the Palestinians, particularly to their greedy, lethargic leaders, that the status quo is over and that the new American administration is going to pay no heed to the recent UN resolution engineered by Obama and Kerry. If the Palestinians really want a two-state solution, they will have to negotiate with the Israelis one-on-one for it.  If not, more bad news for them, worse than a Jerusalem embassy, will be ahead.

No doubt in the short run there would be explosions — physical and verbal — but the old approach, the Oslo approach, has failed miserably.  Time to toughen up and make the Palestinians face reality.  Time to stop treating them like children because that’s what we (and the Europeans perhaps even more) do. Time to make them take some responsibility for their fate.

Time to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

I wouldn’t doubt that the coming Trump administration understands this. We have many signals, including the appointment Monday of Trump’s Orthodox Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner as a key adviser to the president. Kushner wrote Trump’s fine speech at AIPAC last spring.

Many U.S. presidential candidates have promised to move our embassy to Jerusalem, including, amazingly, Obama, yet none have followed through. I suspect Trump will.

And here’s the irony. Although they don’t know it yet, and most likely will never admit it, this is the best news that the Palestinians have had in years.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn’t Already.  He can be followed on Twitter @rogerlsimon.