Preparations are underway for the grand opening of the new United States embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. While the President won’t be able to attend as he prepares for his summit with North Korea, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have arrived to do the honors along with a number of other delegates. But not everyone is quite so thrilled with this development, particularly in some parts of the European Union. They were preparing to put forward a resolution condemning the embassy move, delivering a statement which was explicitly designed to “embarrass and isolate the Trump administration” ahead of the ceremony.
That nasty little poison pill fell apart this weekend, however, when three member nations blocked the resolution. The objection was led by Hungary, which was quickly joined by Romania and the Czech Republic. (Axios)
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, in coordination with Israel, today blocked a joint EU statement criticizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli officials and European diplomats told me.
Behind the scenes: The initiative to publish the statement was led by France and several other EU member states. Israeli officials say the goal was to present to the U.S. a common position against the move by all 28 member states, and to embarrass and isolate the Trump administration ahead of Monday’s ceremony.
It turns out that the driving force behind the original resolution was French President Emmanuel Macron. Nice ally, eh? And it was only a few weeks ago that he was over here getting all touchy-feely with Trump amid speculation that he was playing some sort of flattery game to advance his position with the United States. So it’s perhaps not all that surprising that the revolt would be led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has been no fan of the socialist bent of the European Union and frequently acted as a thorn in the side of Brussels.
It’s also unsurprising that the Czechs and the Romanians would join in with Orban on this. Both countries are currently reviewing plans to possibly move their embassies to Jerusalem as well. That put a bit of a damper on the three points listed in the resolution, which were as follows:
- Jerusalem should be the capital of both states — Israel and the future state of Palestine.
- The final status of Jerusalem should be negotiated and only determined through negotiations between the parties.
- The member states of the EU will not follow the U.S. and will not move their embassies to Jerusalem.
Here’s one question for Macron and the rest of the EU leaders who were prepared to go along with this insult. Why is it anyone’s business where the U.S. Embassy to Isreal is located except for the United States and Israel? The embassy can be wherever both countries mutually decide it should be. And trying to tell us where to locate our embassy looks rather embarrassing for Brussels when they can’t even enforce such an order on their own member nations. Perhpas minding your own business would be the better course of action here.