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The anti-Israel spin against moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem has begun

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The anti-Israel spin against moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem has begun

There are plenty of cautious, unbiased voices expressing concern over President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Then, there are hysterical voices outright denouncing the move and making up whatever narrative they can form to build opposition to the move regardless of the truth.

Before we get into the hysterical voices, let’s discuss the truth. I’ve seen lists of 7, 10, 12, and more of really good reasons to not only support but wholeheartedly embrace this move. I’m going to break it down to the three most important:

  1. Israel is a sovereign nation and Jerusalem is its capital. Who are we (or anyone else) to tell them that it’s not?
  2. The most common argument against the move is that it would derail decades of diplomacy we’ve put into Middle East peace. This is a ludicrous argument. This “diplomacy” hasn’t made Israel safer. They’ve essentially stood alone (with technological and equipment aid from the United States) when it comes to defending themselves against the enemies that surround them. All of this “diplomacy” has not brought peace to the Middle East in general and has not prevented ongoing attacks from the very people who would like to have a two-state solution. In reality, they want a one-state solution and no measure of diplomacy will change that.
  3. Once and for all, it’s time to stop talking about the 1967 borders. It’s time to stop saying Israel is occupying any lands unlawfully. Jerusalem is in Israel. There’s no splitting it or giving it to the Palestinians. They are free to worship there, but it’s in the land of Israel. The sooner we and the rest of the world acknowledge this, the sooner we can achieve real peace in the land.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at those who are against Israel. It’s a pretty mixed group, though most of the publications and authors who oppose the move would be considered left-leaning. Not all liberal disapprove; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is notably in favor of making Jerusalem the permanent capital of Israel.

Feel free to click through and check out any of these stories. I’m confident if you’re reading this, you won’t be swayed by the subtle jabs or the actual antisemitism veiled within the words of these articles. It’s good to know what the anti-Israel crowd is saying so we can better understand how to defeat their false narratives. This is a small sampling. There are dozens of other major news outlets publishing articles opposing the President’s move. Most use scare tactics; it’s better for their narrative to make people concerned about the repercussions instead of focusing on right or wrong.

Examples of anti-Israel spin stories

Why declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could cause a furor in the Middle East

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/05/trump-recognizes-jerusalem-israel-capital/923059001/“Any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally,” Abbas said over the weekend, according to the official Wafa Palestinian news agency.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Trump called him Tuesday to say he wanted to move the embassy to Jerusalem, according to a statement by the Jordanian embassy.

Trump’s plan to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel will derail decades of US diplomacy

https://www.vox.com/2017/12/5/16735072/trump-jerusalem-capital-embassy-palestinians-israelisThe administration’s planned announcement is already sparking fury across the Arab world. A spokeswoman for Abbas’s office issued a statement early Tuesday warning of “dangerous consequences” if Trump moves forward with plans to eventually move the embassy. King Abdullah was equally critical, saying in a statement that the White House shift on Jerusalem “will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process.”

Right-wing Israeli leaders, by contrast, didn’t try to disguise their happiness. In a message to Trump, Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party, said he wanted to thank “you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment and intention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Risking Backlash, Trump Plans To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital : The Two-Way

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/05/567796812/risking-backlash-trump-plans-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israels-capitalBoth Israel and the Palestinians claim the city is their capital. Israel captured the eastern portion of the city in the 1967 war and U.S. policy — under Republican and Democratic presidents — has long held that the city’s status should be decided in peace talks.

Trump’s announcement, expected Wednesday afternoon, essentially endorses the Israeli position on the city.

Opinion | Does President Trump Want to Negotiate Middle East Peace?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/opinion/does-president-trump-want-to-negotiate-middle-east-peace.htmlAlthough Israel’s government has been located in Jerusalem since its founding in 1948, the United States, like the rest of the world, hasn’t recognized the city as Israeli territory, even after the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, when Israel drove back Jordan from East Jerusalem and occupied it. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel promised to negotiate Jerusalem’s future as part of a peace agreement. It has been assumed that under any deal, the city would remain its capital.

Palestinians anticipated being able to locate their capital in East Jerusalem and to have access to Muslim holy sites there. East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement.

Why the White House doesn’t think Jerusalem move will kill peace plan

https://www.axios.com/why-white-house-doesnt-think-jerusalem-move-will-kill-peace-plan-2515204872.htmlJust hours before President Trump’s highly anticipated speech on Jerusalem, the White House is engaged in damage control. The challenge Trump and his team are facing: how to fulfill his campaign promise of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and still get a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians — and prevent a wave a violence across the West Bank and the Middle East.

Between the lines: White House officials think Trump’s decision to follow through on his campaign promise — even if only partially — strengthens his credibility around the world as a someone who stands by his word, isn’t intimidated by threats, and doesn’t cave to international pressure.

Trump decision on Jerusalem could have deep repercussions

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5150297/Trump-decision-Jerusalem-deep-repercussions.htmlOn the campaign trail, Trump took a strongly pro-Israel stance and promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, where most countries keep their embassies, to Jerusalem. Since taking office, he has learned that such a move is easier to talk about than to carry out.

Under American law, the president must sign a waiver every six months that leaves the embassy in Tel Aviv. In June, Trump renewed the waiver, as a string of predecessors has done. This week, another six-month deadline passed without Trump renewing it.

Spotlight: Trump to announce decision on moving embassy to Jerusalem, sparking wide criticism, worries

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-12/06/c_136804871.htmEuropean Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday warned that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through negotiations.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Mogherini reiterated that EU supports “the resumption of a meaningful peace process towards a two-state,” warning that “any action that would undermine these efforts must absolutely be avoided.”

Trump’s Jerusalem decision has no upside

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/12/trump_s_jerusalem_decision_has_no_upside.htmlTo talk about all of this Mideast upheaval, I spoke by phone with Ilan Goldenberg, the director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed whether Benjamin Netanyahu’s political position was secure, the distinct (but both unsuccessful) ways in which Obama and Trump have approached the Middle East, and just how incompetent this administration really is.

Facts versus spin

By no means am I suggesting there’s no need to report on opposition. News is news and if this world leader or that scholar says it’s a bad idea, we should hear why. The problem I have with these and so many other “news” articles about the move is that they’re littered with the anti-Israel agenda. Sometimes it’s hard to notice. Other times it’s as blatant as an antisemitic neon sign. This is narrative-building. It’s agenda-promoting. It’s more of the same anti-Israel spin that’s grown to be so common in mainstream and leftist media.

Final thoughts

There are so many things to unpack regarding this move, but I’ll wait until everything is on the table. There are some who are saying that the move isn’t really a matter of doing the right thing. It’s the President dangling the carrot so he can broker a two-state solution. It may sound unlikely at this point, but anything’s possible. World events are moving quickly.

If the President does, indeed, sign orders to move the embassy, we should all look closely at the details. Missing the Monday deadline to push the decision down the road is not a sign of rapid movement. It just started the clock. How quickly or intentionally slowly the move is made will give us an idea of how this is all going to play out.

One thing is certain. Unlike past presidents who all (other than Barack Obama) promised to move the embassy during campaign season then avoided the question once they were in office, President Trump has ratcheted up talk about fulfilling the promise he made last year. There’s no backing away at this point, though there’s still a chance he could change his mind once turmoil hits the Middle East more so than it already has.

I truly hope this comes to pass. There will be challenges, not just from the Palestinians and other Middle East nations but also from many here in the United States. We have to do what we can to fight the anti-Israel narrative. Meanwhile, Israel and the United States have to be prepared for an international backlash that could lead to harsh responses.

For better or for worse, it’s shaping up to be Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu versus the whole world. The way it’s handled and the end results will both reverberate across the globe. That’s not in question. What we have to wait to find out is if they’re able to craft their own narrative powerful enough to make it resonate.

Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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Foreign Affairs

Pulling out of the INF treaty isn’t just about Russia

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Pulling out of the INF treaty has very little to do with Russia

Russia has broken the treaty already, according to this administration as well as its predecessor. That’s enough to prompt President Trump to put out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, famously signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in 1987.

President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45930206The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

My Take

This isn’t about Russia. Their actions are the excuse for pulling out, but the reason for doing so is because China has no such restrictions. They’re advancements in weaponry have prompted the United States and our allies to explore means of warfare that have been prohibited.

Until now.

This is a counter to China’s continued aggressive actions. Russia will keep doing what Presidents Obama and Trump already acknowledged. No we can step up our missile program as well.

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Conspiracy Theory

Russian meddling is about dividing us, not helping Trump

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Russian meddling is about dividing us not helping Trump

Russia is meddling with our elections. They’re meddling with our entire political system. They’re meddling in our culture, freedoms, and methods of communication. I once believed they were trying to help Donald Trump become President. Now I realize they are simply elements of chaos.

Today’s report of charges filed against a Russian agent working against American interests is striking for two reasons. First, the details they’ve been able to uncover about “Project Lakhta” are astounding. Second, their strategic goal was NOT to get one person or one party into office but to sow division among the American people regardless of their political ideology.

First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/19/first-charge-filed-russian-interfering-elections/“The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case demonstrates that federal law enforcement authorities will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of unlawful foreign influence activities whenever feasible, and that we will not stand by idly while foreign actors obstruct the lawful functions of our government. I want to thank the agents and prosecutors for their determined work on this case.”

Russia didn’t want Trump or Clinton to be President. They didn’t really care who won. All they wanted and continue to want is that no matter who wins any given election, the opposition will be so hateful about the loss that they’re willing to act out more aggressively than they otherwise would have normally.

It’s finally becoming clear that Russia’s plan is much more subverted and, frankly, ingenious than anything mainstream media or the Democrats could have ever fathomed.

They are taking advantage of our freedom of speech and the technology that allows that speech to reach the masses. They’re theory is that if they can get people on both sides of the political spectrum to voice their opinions with hate rather than understanding, it will spread. Those who have practiced thoughtful debate are now becoming raving ranters. Those who once argued their points thoughtfully are now becoming trolls.

Russia is not the only negative actor in this and the trends were already pointing to this divisiveness taking hold and spreading like a virus well before Project Lakhta was conceived, but they have definitely added to the cacophony and harnessed our vilest emotional responses to be used against us.

Their goal is to push as many people towards the fringes as possible. They want the far-left and the far-right to grow. They want debates to turn into arguments, then arguments to turn into blind rage. From there, they speculated that we would be the initiators of our own destruction.

They may be right.

From the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation debacle to the illegal immigration debate to anything that has to do with gun rights, Americans on both sides of the aisle are becoming more passionate. That’s leading many to become unhinged. When enough people are unhinged, any hopes of civil discourse can be forgotten. We are getting to the point where we no longer discuss our differences. We simply try to shout our perspectives louder than those opposed to us.

The left is the easier target. I’m not just saying that as a conservative. I say that because their position on issues make it easier for them to be emotional when news breaks about an event important to them. This is why those who blame racism for everything are not only seeing racism in every aspect of American life but are feeling justified in practicing their own versions of racism.

We now see that Russia’s goal wasn’t to get Trump elected. It was to make one side or the other absolutely hate the outcome regardless of who won. They aren’t pushing a political agenda. They’re pushing a cultural apocalypse.

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