Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a dangerous gambit

CNN | 12/3/2017 | Staff
TimHyuga (Posted by) Level 3
Aaron David Miller is a vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and author of "The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President." Miller was a Middle East negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

(CNN)Having worked at the State Department on Arab-Israeli negotiations for the better part of a quarter century, I came up with more than my fair share of half-baked ideas.

Issue - Secretary - State - Jerusalem - Advice

But the one issue I was smart enough to avoid -- and I advised every Secretary of State to do the same -- was Jerusalem. My advice was simple: don't play with the most sensitive and volatile issue in the negotiations.

And yet, if you believe some media reports, President Donald Trump is preparing to do precisely that. White House national security adviser HR McMaster, however, cautioned on Sunday that he isn't entirely sure what the President will decide. But, he added, Trump has been given all possible options to consider.

Wednesday - President - Waiver - Authority - Jerusalem

On Wednesday, the President may exercise the waiver authority provided in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act (as he did last June) which would allow him to defer opening an US Embassy in Jerusalem. However, he may also make a statement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Perhaps the administration believes that a statement is less damaging than actually starting the process of opening an embassy. But unless it's part of a prenegotiated deal, which involves significant Israeli concessions to Palestinians, it is likely to complicate the very peace process Trump wants to promote.

Rail - Negotiations - Jerusalem - Significance - Tinderbox

If there is a third rail in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, it's Jerusalem. Loaded with political and religious significance, it's long been a tinderbox just waiting for a match. And we've witnessed numerous fires usually breaking out on...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNN
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