Trump’s motives on Jerusalem are unclear

first_imgThe Palestinians would get a state, though the 1967 lines would not be its borders.According to some, the territory they get would not be contiguous.That would amount to substantially less than the Palestinians demand and far more than Israel’s right flank intends to give them.If the administration is serious about such a deal, Trump needs to buy the allegiance of both sides.The capital announcement is a prize that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (weakened by corruption scandals and in no position to push back) can use to assuage his right flank.At the same time, Trump may have told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (who is 82 and running out of time) that no one will object if the Palestinians protest or burn flags, but serious violence will not be tolerated.If Abbas wants his state, he may have heard, he had better make sure to keep the response to Trump’s announcement muted.Netanyahu, in return, may have been warned that in return for his prize, he will be expected to deliver support for the plan Trump’s team plans to proffer. For decades, the Western world has allowed fear of Palestinian terrorism (or Palestinians backing out of negotiations) to silence claims that everyone knows to be true.Such capitulation serves no one. It doesn’t serve the West, for it renders even the U.S. impotent in the face of Palestinian threat.It doesn’t help Israel, which wants the world to acknowledge that its capital being near the seat of King David’s kingdom and the location of the two Temples symbolizes with utter clarity that the Jews have returned home.And it doesn’t serve the Palestinians, who through the use of threat, have immobilized the West and put off the serious deliberations they will have to undertake if they are ever to get the state they want.Whether the president has the focus, skill and interest in making this move the beginning of a positive and far-reaching process, though, remains to be seen.Daniel Gordis is senior vice president and Koret distinguished fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. Categories: Editorial, OpinionCalling it a “recognition of reality” and “the right thing to do,” President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the American Embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to the contested city.The announcement leaves many questions, two of which are primary. Trump’s core supporters will likely stick by him through thick and thin.But there have to be some religious voters who find the president’s open endorsement of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore — widely believed to have forced underage women into sexual encounters — distasteful to say the least.The Russia investigation looms, as do increasing questions about whether Trump, his family or his innermost circle may be legally vulnerable.It hasn’t been a good period for the president; if Trump was looking for a diversion, he seems to have landed on an effective one.There is one much less cynical, although unlikely, possibility that deserves mention.Trump has long said he will forge a deal between Israelis and Palestinians, and rumors on the street are that the “key principles” of his team’s agreement are emerging.Accounts vary. If anyone can deliver the Israeli right, it is Netanyahu, likely the most skilled political manipulator the country has had as prime minister.With his political life possibly nearing its end and with little to show for his years in office, Netanyahu would like a deal like this to ensure his place in history.How likely is this scenario?It’s hard to say.A careful plan in which the Trump moves slowly and stays on script would hardly be characteristic of his modus operandi so far. But it’s not entirely out of the question.Trump, not surprisingly, is taking heat from all corners, including Palestinians, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Christian leaders in Israel and even the liberal American Jewish community.Yet even if he was motivated primarily by his own selfish needs, Trump is right — he did the right thing. The first is whether violence will ensue.The Palestinians and Turks are making threats, and Israel’s security establishment is said to be on alert.But many Israelis are dismissing the dangers of what they call “Trumpocalypse.”Unlike hypothetical steps, such as assigning the Palestinians a smaller state than they demand or ending U.S. support for a two-state solution, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital changes nothing on the ground.Many Israelis and even Palestinians thus doubt that, grandstanding aside, the Palestinians would risk much in response to a statement merely acknowledges what the world has long known to be true.The other major question is, “Why now?”Theories abound, of course, but the most obvious explanation is that Trump is seeking both a diversion from his growing problems at home and a bone to throw to his evangelical Christian and Orthodox Jewish base before his support there erodes. 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EC consults on mediation of investor, public authority disputes

first_imgThe European Commission has launched a consultation to help it decide whether there is a need for an EU framework for the amicable prevention and resolution of disputes between public authorities and investors.The main focus of the consultation is on mediation, which the Commission said could help ensure a cost-effective and quick resolution of disputes between investors and public authorities, and even prevent such problems.However, mediation did not appear to be used very much, it said.An alternative policy option, according to the Commission, could be to establish a network of national contact points, which would be responsible for providing advice and information to investors about the local legal environment relevant to their investment. These contact points could intervene on investors’ behalf with public authorities when complex legal or factual situations require such action. The Commission is also seeking views on where more awareness about the existing rights of cross-border EU investors is needed.It said there was “currently some degree of complexity and an apparent lack of awareness amongst a number of market participants, legal practitioners and the public authorities on the level of protection afforded to cross-border EU investors by EU law”.The Commission said it planned to provide guidance on existing EU rules for treatment of cross-border investments.The backdrop to the consultation is the Commission’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) project and the ambition to facilitate more cross-border investments in the EU.Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for financial stability, financial services and the CMU, said: “The single market already contains clear safeguards for setting up businesses or buying companies in other EU countries.“But for a well-functioning single market the adequate and amicable prevention and resolution of disputes could be a useful supplement to existing rules. This is why the Commission is exploring whether rules for the amicable resolution of investment disputes should be set up in order to save time and money both for EU investors and national authorities.”The consultation is open until 3 November 2017 and can be found here.last_img read more

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State Road 56 chip & seal planned for Monday

first_imgMadison, In. — Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance crews plan to chip seal the 7¼-mile segment of State Road 56 from just beyond Madison’s east limits to Shirks Hollow Road at Brooksburg, weather permitting, on Monday, July 2. Flaggers will direct traffic around pavement preservation operations on the scenic highway between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.INDOT’s current schedule calls for a fog seal to be applied on Thursday, July 12.Chip seals coat the existing pavement with liquid asphalt—sealing cracks and protecting the roadbed from harmful ultraviolet rays.  This extends service life and lowers maintenance costs.  Small chips of limestone are used to cover the asphalt—choking it from spraying vehicles or sticking to tires.  The aggregate chips also restore surface friction for improved skid resistance and driver safety.Fog seals are light sprays of liquid asphalt that lock in the stone and further overcoat the highway with sealant protection.These chip and fog seals are extremely cost-effective.  Experience shows that every $1 spent on these kinds of surface treatments saves $6 to $14 in taxpayer expenditures “down the road”.last_img read more

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