On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” CNN host Fareed Zakaria stated that moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is “very nonstrategic” in that if it was part of a broader plan, giving Israel such a “major concession” would be in exchange for something by Israel.
Zakaria said, “I think it was a very nonstrategic move, by which I mean to say, Trump is supposed to be the master of the art of the deal. It’s very rare to make a major concession to one side without getting something from the other. This has been a prize. Look, there are 86 countries that recognize Israel. All their embassies are in Tel Aviv. This is a very big gift to Israel. You would normally imagine that if it were part of a larger strategic plan, you would ask the Israelis, in return, to do a certain number of things, settlement freezes, whatever it is. Instead, it has been a pretty lopsided thing.”
Zakaria continued that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and he has no problem with that, but other countries haven’t moved their embassies to Jerusalem because of Palestinian claims to the city, the number of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and the large number of Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem. He added that conventional wisdom is that “this matter should be settled in the context of the overall Palestinian-Israeli negotiation. Here what you’ve done, is unilaterally made a concession. It looks very striking and bold, but when you sort of think to yourself, ‘Wait, what did you get for that?'”
He also stated that multiple presidents have talked about moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but the issue has been a political one in the US and it’s not coincidental that President Trump announced the move during the Alabama Senate race.
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