The Emergency Committee for Israel is running television ads that want us to believe that if Mitt Romney is elected president he will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That is the impression they want to convey based on his having referred to Jerusalem as Israel's capital during his quick visit there last week
The people behind ECI include many of the folks who wanted us to believe the same thing about George W. Bush 12 years ago when, at a similar point in his campaign, he promised to move the embassy on his first day in office. He later modified that to say he'd “begin the process” of moving the embassy on his first day.
He never did. Over the next eight years he signed 16 consecutive waivers telling Congress he would not be moving the embassy despite a law calling for him to do so. And there was nary a peep from the folks behind the Emergency Committee, the Republican Jewish Coalition or other conservative Jewish groups.
Why didn't Bush ever keep his campaign promise? Here's the explanation from a White House official on the occasion on one of the semi-annual waivers Bush declared were in the "national security interest."
"Moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem now would complicate our ability to help Israelis and Palestinians advance toward peace and the president's two-state vision."
That is right, and it is why this ECI ad is all a ruse to fool the Jews, the evangelicals and the Israelis.
Like it or not, the embassy will not be moved until Israel reaches a peace agreement with the Palestinians, something that does not appear to be on Romney's agenda.
Every Israeli rightfully considers Jerusalem their nation's capital — so do I — and the fact that no government has an embassy there doesn't change that. As much as they'd like to see our embassy in Jerusalem, no Israeli leader has ever made the move an imperative in relations with the United States.
ECI’s latest TV ad is titled: "Next year, President Romney in Jerusalem, Israel's capital."
That is just empty rhetoric, and they know it. It's just a part of the on-going GOP campaign to make Israel a partisan wedge issue. Presumably it makes their wealthy benefactors feel good, but they know and the millionaires know, a President Romney wouldn't do it any more than President W did it and President Obama hasn't – and won't — until the two sides that see the city as their capital agree on it.
Till then ECI is just burning their contributors' money and blowing the smoke in our faces.