Jeb & Jerusalem

For a guy who boasted, "I am my own man," Jeb sounds an awful lot like he’s channeling his big brother George.

He just announced that if he becomes president he’d move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. We’ve heard that before.  Back in 1999, W told a group of Republican Jewish contributors that he'd move the embassy on his inaugural day. Much later he began backing away but said he still intended to make the move.   After becoming president he kept finding excuses to delay, lamely insisting he was preparing for the move.  But when he left office 8 years later the Embassy was still in Tel Aviv.

He issued 16 consecutive waivers to sidestep the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law requiring the transfer, and there was nary a whimper from Republicans, Jewish organizations and right-leaning Jews.  Those are the same ones who exploded in righteous indignation every time Bill Clinton – who had never made such a campaign promise – signed the presidential waivers.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, as if to prove that the Jerusalem Embassy law was not serious foreign policy but a transparent political ploy, regularly vilified Clinton for his waivers but said it understood W Bush’s evading his promise and soon dropped the issue. 

John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 made similar promises but never got a chance to follow through.

Does Jeb really expect anyone to take him seriously after the experience with his brother?  The emmes — the truth — is the Embassy is going nowhere until there is a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which incudes the status of Jerusalem, which both claim for its capital. 

Here's another emmes:  Jerusalem is a popular pandering ploy I’ve watched each party employ over the past 35 years with no other intention than to embarrass the other and raise some money.  It may impress Sheldon Adelson and big donors, but it's just a ruse.  And Jeb knows it.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.