Patterico's Pontifications


President Trump Officially Recognizes Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital, Embassy To Move

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Dept. to begin preparations to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Citing the decision as a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the president said:

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city, and so importantly, is Israel’s capital. This act passed congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. And was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in.

After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver.

Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.

As expected, President Trump’s decision was met with criticism and dire warnings from the usual suspects. The Palestinians, who obviously have no interest in making peace with a people they prefer didn’t exist, have called for “three days of rage” in protest against the move. British Prime Minister Theresa May charged that “Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states,” and said that she plans to speak with President Trump about the decision. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran blamed the move on U.S. “incompetence and failure”. Even Pope Francis weighed in, saying he could not “keep silent about [his] deep concern” for Jerusalem and urged respect for “the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling today historic, thanked President Trump for his “courageous” and “just” decision”:

“This decision reflects the president’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth,” Netanyahu said. “The president’s decision is an important step toward peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

With that, David French explains why President Trump’s actions today should be celebrated, and why he should be congratulated for taking such a bold step:

President Trump’s decision to formally recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and to announce plans to move America’s embassy to the seat of Israel’s government is one of the best, most moral, and important decisions of his young administration. On this issue, he is demonstrating greater resolve than Republican and Democratic presidents before him, and he is defying some of the worst people in the world.

Also in his excellent piece, French looks at the “law, history, and context” of Israel, and the double-standard use of “stability” when applied to Israel:

From the birth of the modern nation-state of Israel, an unholy mixture of anti-Semites and eliminationists have both sought to drive the Jewish people into the sea and — when military measures failed — isolate the Jewish nation diplomatically, militarily, and culturally. Working through the U.N. and enabled by Soviet-bloc (and later) European allies, these anti-Semites and eliminationists have waged unrelenting “lawfare” against Israel. (Lawfare is the abuse of international law and legal processes to accomplish military objectives that can’t be achieved on the battlefield.)

The scam works like this: The U.N. and other international bodies establish rules that apply only to Israel, or they hold Israel to higher standards than any other nation on earth; then, when Israel (or its primary ally, America) object to those unjust rules and double standards, the Arab world threatens unrest, riots, or, at worst, renewed jihad. A cowardly European community goes along, perpetuating injustice in the name of “stability.”

If “stability” means the perpetuation of double standards, the isolation of Israel, and continued kowtowing to threats of violence, then it’s time to call the Arabs’ bluff. If the most powerful nation in the history of the world doesn’t have the moral strength to even properly recognize Israel’s capital, it gives aid and comfort to those who impose unique burdens on the Jewish state. Will America’s Arab allies — nations that depend on our alliances to confront a growing Iranian threat — forsake their own national security to protest an embassy location? It’s time to find out. The Trump administration has made the right move. Now let’s see how the bigots respond.

President Trump should be congratulated. He has taken an enormous step toward fulfilling his campaign promise that the embassy should be moved to “the eternal capital for the Jewish people, Jerusalem.” It has been a very good day for him.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Calls For Democratic Lawmakers To Resign In Face Of More Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In today’s left side of the aisle sexual harassment news, Al Franken (D-MN.) has yet again been accused of sexual misconduct by a former Democratic congressional aide. The alleged incident took place in 2006:

The aide, whose name POLITICO is withholding to protect her identity, said Franken (D-Minn.) pursued her after her boss had left the studio. She said she was gathering her belongings to follow her boss out of the room. When she turned around, Franken was in her face.

The former staffer ducked to avoid Franken’s lips. As she hastily left the room, she said, Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”

“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked,” the aide said in an interview. “I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’”

Franken fully denies the latest accusation. In light of yet another allegation of groping or trying to forcibly kiss women, female Democratic lawmakers have called for Franken to step down. This includes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) who recently said that Bill Clinton should have resigned over his scandal involving a young intern, and who said yesterday when asked whether Franken should resign that, although troubled by the situation, she wouldn’t call for him to step down. Just one more noble Democratic female demonstrating their side of the aisle’s classic profile in courage. Riiight.

For his part, Franken, whose unseeking hands mysteriously found themselves the unwilling recipients of women’s butts over the years, has denied this latest allegation. Franken, who blamed these “mishaps” on the fact that he is just “a warm person” who hugs people and too bad these accusers don’t understand this, is scheduled to make an announcement tomorrow.

Also happening on the left side of the aisle, Rep. John Conyers announced his resignation yesterday, effective immediately. This on the heels of two more accusers coming forward:

In the document released by lawyer Lisa Bloom, former staffer Elisa Grubbs said she worked in Conyers’ office from approximately 2001 to 2013. She claimed that the congressman “inappropriately touched” her during her time there. Grubbs also said she witnessed Conyers touching other women in the office.

In one incident, he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while the two were sitting next to each other in the front row of a church.

She said that when it happened she jumped up and exclaimed in front of other staffers, “He just ran his hand up my thigh!”

Another time at Conyers’ home, the congressman walked out of his bathroom naked, knowing that she was in the room, she said. She added that she “immediately ran out of the house.”


Grubbs said she saw Conyers stroking the legs and buttocks of other staffers on multiple occasions.

“Witnessing Rep. Conyers rub women’s thighs and buttocks and make comments about women’s physical attributes was a regular part of life while working in the Office of Rep. Conyers,” Grubbs said in the affidavit.

Amusingly, Conyers is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress because he believes he will be certain to preserve his legacy:

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what’ we’re going through now. This too shall pass,” the long-serving Congressman said. “My legacy will continue through my children. I have a great family here, especially in my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress.” He continued, “We’re all working together.”

Sure. Because when you think of John and Monica Conyers, you think the very definition of a great family…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Bannon Upset Romney Avoided Vietnam

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

Steve Bannon is upset Mitt Romney avoided Vietnam. At a rally for Roy Moore, Bannon mocked Romney for not serving in the war:

Steve Bannon bashed Mitt Romney Tuesday night for, as he put it, hiding behind his religion to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War.

Bannon, stumping for controversial Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama in Fairhope, Alabama, touted Moore’s military service in Vietnam and criticized Romney for his lack of “honor and integrity.” Romney tweeted Monday, “no vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.”

“By the way, Mitt, while we’re on the subject of honor an integrity, you avoided service, brother,” Bannon said. “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

Here’s some video:

“The college deferments we can debate that” thing may be a reference to the way Bannon himself stayed out of the war: “Bannon did not serve in Vietnam, either, though he was of age to do so and attended college during the final years of the war.”

But inquiring minds want to know: whatabout bone spurs?

Not that long ago, I noted that “Republicans will never again be able to credibly attack a Democrat on grounds of character in my lifetime.” Since the Trump/Bannon wing loves attacking Republicans at least as much as it loves attacking Democrats, I should have said “a Democrat or another Republican.” There’s no character-based attack that doesn’t also apply to Donald Trump.

By the way, Bannon attacked Romney’s family too: “Judge Moore has more honor and integrity in that pinky finger than your entire family has in its whole DNA.”

And a room full of people who voted for Mitt Romney cheered.

Next thing he’ll accuse Mitt Romney of being a rich fat cat who got where he is today only because of his dad. (Insert your own “this applies to Donald Trump too” joke here.)

No wonder Donald Trump says that people are saying there is a unity in this Republican party like we’ve never seen before.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Amazon Widget: Back Up and Working

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

I just verified that some folks have made purchases with the Amazon widget on the sidebar. It disappeared for a while (long story) but it’s back, so I’ll be mentioning it fairly often through December, for those who got out of the habit of using it. Thanks for remembering to use it for your holiday purchases. It really does make a difference.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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