Why the U.S.-Israel honeymoon may not last much longer

Second problem: Mr. Trump intends to exact an unspecified price from Israel for the recognition, stating “Israel will pay for that” and it “would have had to pay more.” For the moment, with the Palestinian Authority (PA) boycotting American mediation and personally insulting Mr. Trump, that price is in abeyance. But the American door is permanently open to Palestinians and when they wise up, some fabulous gift awaits them in the White House. (This dynamic of extracting quid pro quos from Israel explains why I generally prefer low-simmering tensions between Washington and Jerusalem.)

Third problem: Mr. Trump did not withhold $65 million from UNRWA out of a scheduled $125 million tranche to punish an execrable organization for its record since 1949 of inciting Palestinians against Israel, encouraging violence against Jews, engaging in corruption, and expanding (rather than reducing) the refugee population. Rather, he withheld the money to pressure the PA to restart negotiations with Israel. As Mr. Trump tweeted: “with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

So, once PA leader Mahmoud Abbas gets over his extended snit about Jerusalem and agrees to “talk peace,” he has a bevy of benefits awaiting him: the possible reversal of Jerusalem recognition, some fabulous reward, and the resumption of full, maybe even expanded, U.S. funding. At that point, the pope, the chancellor, the crown prince, and The New York Times will congratulate a glowing Trump; and Israel will find itself coldly thrust out of favor.