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Democrats are already revving up their outrage machine over President Trump's decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (fact check: it is), and to set in motion a plan to accordingly move the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Trump's call is controversial and not without risk, but attempts to frame it as radically out of the mainstream or reckless are unfair and wrong. It's important to note that multiple past presidents have affirmed Jerusalem as Israel's capital or vowed to do precisely what Trump is finally doing -- from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama. Trump's predecessors decided that their stances were better as applause lines than foreign policy; Trump, by contrast, is actually following through. Relatedly, California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein released a statement admonishing Trump that confirming and implementing his then-rumored decision would be "terrible" and dangerous:
What's interesting about this critique is that Trump is complying with a law passed by Congress (the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) mandating that the US government relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's rightful capital city. Among the 93 Senators who voted for that law? Dianne Feinstein. Yes, the law included waiver powers for the president to defer the change based on national security judgments, and Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama did exactly that. Trump is declining to seek another delay, opting to follow the overwhelmingly-passed 1995 law and fulfill a campaign pledge. Feinstein's letter refers to tensions and violence that could escalate if the US goes beyond paying lip service to the notion that Jerusalem is Israel's capital -- citing the upheaval that occurred in the Second Intifada, which was attributed to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "provocatively" visiting the Temple Mount. That may be the fig leaf with which Feinstein justifies her flip-flop. But...
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"Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis