Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the move of the U.S. Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change and the JCPOA

President Trump Wisely Defies “International Consensus"

By —— Bio and Archives--May 15, 2018

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President Trump Wisely Defies International Consensus
The United States has opened its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem, making May 14, 2018 an historic day for the Jewish state of Israel. Other U.S. presidents have made campaign promises to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, only to abandon their promises in deference to the foreign policy establishment and the so-called “international consensus.” In moving forward to fulfill his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump ignored both the foreign policy establishment and “international consensus,” much as President Harry Truman did when he gave de facto recognition to the newly created state of Israel only eleven minutes after Israel’s proclamation of its independence.


President Trump’s decision, denounced not only by the Palestinians themselves, as expected, but by government leaders and opinion makers all around the world, should not be so controversial. The spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres criticized the Trump administration’s “unilateral” actions with respect to Jerusalem.  However, a cardinal principle of the UN Charter is “the sovereign equality of all its Members.” (Emphasis added) Every nation has the sovereign right to locate its own embassies wherever it chooses. The U.S. embassy is in a Jewish residential neighborhood, not in any area claimed by the Palestinians to be part of their future “capital” in East Jerusalem. Moreover, President Trump clearly stated that U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not intended to define any borders within Jerusalem as a whole. Finally, the United Nations resolutions that the critics of President Trump’s decision rely upon to support their objections on “legal” grounds do little to help their case. The General Assembly has no legal authority under the UN Charter to require anything of the member states except payment of their annual budget assessments. The Security Council has huffed and puffed about so-called “illegal” Israeli settlements including in East Jerusalem, and called upon member states to withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem. However, the Security Council failed to go beyond passing non-binding resolutions of no legal consequence.

President Trump did what he thought was the right thing to do, as President Truman had done seventy years ago when he said, “I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now.”  President Trump was willing, in President Truman’s words when dealing with his critics regarding the Palestine situation, “to let them all go to hell.”

President Trump also told the Iranian regime and its enablers, including the United Nations and leaders of European countries thirsting to do business with Iran, to “go to hell” when he withdrew the United States from the disastrous nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama and his feckless Secretary of State John Kerry. The so-called “international community” was aghast. “I am deeply concerned…that the United States will be withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and will begin reinstating US sanctions,” UN Secretary General Guterres declared. “Issues not directly related to the JCPOA should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments.”

What about the Iranian regime’s continued development and testing of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, in defiance of the same UN Security Council resolution that endorsed the JCPOA and thereby made the JCPOA “binding” under international law according to UN officials? Isn’t such ballistic missile activity “directly related to the JCPOA”?  When I asked the Secretary General’s spokesperson last week whether the Secretary General considers the Iranian regime’s ongoing work on technology to integrate nuclear warheads with ballistic missiles, which involves both nuclear technology and the delivery of nuclear weapons, to be “directly related” to the JCPOA, he avoided the question. He said that I was “throwing out a lot of hypotheticals” and would not allow me to follow up. This is one illustration of why President Trump was right to ignore the wishes of the UN and world leaders who wear blinders.

Another example involves the inspection regime established by the JCPOA. We keep hearing how the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is charged with verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, has given Iran a clean bill of health when it comes to Iran’s purported implementation of these commitments. The problem is that Iran claims it has the absolute right to deny the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to any of its military sites, even where suspected nuclear-related activity may be taking place. The IAEA has backed off asking to inspect such sites in the face of Iranian resistance. Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said last September that it was an “invention” by the IAEA Director General Yukiya that the IAEA has a right to inspect Iran’s military sites. “Visiting Iran’s military centers is forbidden to all foreigners,” Velayati said.

As part of Obama’s sales pitch for the JCPOA, he claimed, “Inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location. Put simply, the organization responsible for the inspections, the IAEA, will have access where necessary, when necessary.” The Iranian regime’s flat refusal to allow IAEA access to any suspicious location it claims to be a military site is thus a clear violation of the JCPOA’s inspection terms as described by Obama himself. It is also quite possible that the nuclear deal was sold to Congress and the American people on false pretenses, giving President Trump every right to scrap it in any event. A former operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency who spoke on background claimed that IAEA Director General Amano was physically threatened if he revealed what Iran did not want revealed, including secret side deals between the Iranian regime and Obama administration officials including John Kerry.

Some world leaders and opinion makers in the liberal mainstream press believe that President Trump is turning the United States into a rogue nation by virtue of his continuing “unilateral” actions such as his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the move of the U.S. Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change and the JCPOA. They much preferred the Obama administration’s foreign policy, which consisted of leading from behind, kicking the can down the road, appeasement and bowing to “international consensus.” President Trump, to his credit, recognizes that such demonstrations of weakness and willful blindness to the truth are sure paths to unleashing aggression by dictators that will seriously jeopardize international peace and security.


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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.

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