If you engage Israelis in conversation, however, many of them express ambivalence about the embassy question. While they believe unabashedly that all foreign missions should be situated in Jerusalem, they largely reject any portrayal of this project as some form of “concession” to Israel. Few would be willing to proffer any substantial quid in return for what is regarded as little more than a symbolic quo.
From an Israeli perspective, moving the U.S. embassy would simply correct an injustice and affirm existing reality. Beyond that, it would be of scant practical importance. Today’s Jerusalem is a cosmopolitan venue, a tourist mecca bustling with cultural activity. Home to Israel’s “White House,” its supreme court, its parliament and almost all institutions of its government, Jerusalem hosts world leaders on a daily basis. They stay in its grand hotels and dine at its critically acclaimed restaurants. Leaving aside the mundane concerns of its residents, Jerusalem, by all accounts, is managing pretty well. If anything, it is members of the diplomatic corps who would be the primary beneficiaries of the embassy’s relocation, spared the need to travel back and forth from Tel Aviv to conduct their official business.