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Jerusalem: Trump’s Most Dangerous Diversion

Don Rose 14 December 2017 One Comment

Have you figured out why Donald Trump chose just this moment to toss a grenade more dangerous than all of his diversionary tweets by announcing he was recognizing the partly-Palestinian Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and eventually would move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv?

    In a typically Orwellian statement, the master of diversion said he was doing it to advance the peace process–which, if you believe there is still a peace process, would serve to wreck it.


    The announcement ignited the expected protests throughout the Middle East, some of them violent, with more serious violence–even another intifada–still possible. It broke with 70 years of worldwide recognition of Tel Aviv as the alternative–more than 80 countries have their embassies there–and united all our enemies with our strongest allies in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa against us. Trump’s only support comes from Israel’s right-wing government, Evangelicals and a minority of the American Jewish minority–mostly Republicans.

   He claims to favor a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine dispute, which the deceptive Benjamin Netyanhu also claims to support– wink-wink. But I can think of little that would set back such negotiations more than Trump’s unilateral announcement. It destroys any whim that we might be an “honest broker” in such negotiations and minimally, as Tom Friedman points out, gives away Israel’s strongest bargaining chip.

   Trump’s bizarre announcement comes just as Robert Mueller’s investigations inch closer and closer to the Oval Office, hoping to change the conversation and give the far right more opportunity to attack Mueller.

   Paul Manafort has been indicted. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to sing. Most importantly, Michael Flynn has done the same and we can expect an entire opera from him.

   There is enough known information to make a case not for “collusion,” which is not a crime, but criminal conspiracy, which is. As legal expert Jeffrey Toobin put it in the New Yorker, “The full nature of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia is not yet publicly known, but the established facts suggest conspiratorial behavior–and may even prove it.”

   Numerous Trumpian actions build a strong case for obstruction of justice–from the firing of James Comey to multiple lies designed to cover up the goings-on in Trump Tower between several Russians, Manafort, Donald Trump, Jr., and Jared Kushner.  Trump Sr. told reporter Lester Holt and a group of Russian guests in the Oval Office that Comey was fired because of his investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

   One of Trump’s lawyers recently tried to peddle the lie that the president cannot be charged with obstruction because he himself is “justice.” One former federal prosecutor calls this the “tell” that they are worried sick.

   Now we learn that Mueller is sifting through thousands of financial documents–with Trump’s tax returns  and, soon, associates’ Deutsche Bank records high on the pile–that could build a case for money laundering or indicate Trump’s indebtedness to Russia.

    What’s the next diversion as the noose tightens? Move the White House to Moscow?

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

One Comment »

  • Observant said:

    So it was perfectly alright for Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton to call for the American embassy to be move to Jerusalem as it is the Israeli capital, provided that nothing actually was done to fulfill the promise? Is that okay?

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