Straight talk


Diplomats like to believe they speak a special language because of their knowledge of other cultures that logic which may apply elsewhere is not always applicable to their transactions. That explains, as much as anything, the present undercurrent of animosity between the State Department’s Foreign Service establishment and the Trump White House.

The Trump Administration’s initiative to officially move the US. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is now a case in point.

No issue is as political sensitive and emotive in Israeli politics. Psalm 137 of the Jewish and Christian Bibles sings: If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem. may my right hand forget its skill, May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

But the New Year’s statement of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, a politician appointed to that office by President Donald K. Trump, has aroused an international fracas. Perhaps the explanation lies partly in the fact that Halley hails from her previous office as governor of South Carolina, a state throughout its history noted for its drama.

Haley laid out the Trump foreign policy and the international scene in stark terms. She made no secret of the basic turnabout Trump has provided to the Obama Administrations famous leading from behind.

Haley signaled:

The U.S. will no longer lean on international organizations , as its principle tool in internatiuonal policy as the world’s largest economy and overwhelmingly largest military force.

Trump will end more than six decades and a total of $18 billion in military and economic aid from the United States, a net transfer of $8.647 billion to Pakistan.

Trump will move to end the Iranian missile program negotiated by the Obama Administration in an effort to postpone a nuclear-class Tehran regime.

Trump threatens to end Palestinian funding [more than $5 billion in since the mid-1990s] if the PLA continues to violate UN decisions to recognize Israel and proceed with serious negotiations for two states.

Trump will support Iranian dissidents in dramatic contradiction to Obama’s ignoring the previous Green Revolution in 2009 after elections almost overthrew the dictatorship. Trump reiterated his threat to destroy North Korea if that rogue regime persists in developing nuclear weapons.

Trump is pressuring Burma in regard to its expulsion of Muslim from its southeastern provinces.

Trump is concerned about Venezuela where the president has become a dictator, ally of Communist Cuba and an enemy of the U.S….

All in all, what was a enunciated was a new American foreign policy which will be activist and aggressive rather than responsive the Obama Administration attempts to lead from behind.

Haley has also reminded other members of the United Nations that the U.S. sees their votes an indicator of their support of the American effort. Haley’s announcement moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem follows decades in which both the Congress and presidents have announced that American policy. No issue is so emotionally charged in Israel politics nor with its Arab neighbors despite the fact no Arab or Muslim regime had ever claimed Jerusalem or the Holy Land as its capital.

We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, she said of the UN vote. Washington supplies roughly 22 percent of the U.N. budget. And we will remember when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.

Haley, called the UN vote condemning the American action null and void, declaring that no vote in the United Nations will make any difference on the United States plans to move its embassy which she called the right thing to do.

With only Guatemala so far following the American initiative of recognizing Jerusalem as the site of the Israel capital and locating its embassy there, Haley threatened that the 22 UN nations which had vote a resolution condemning the American action who now receive U.S. aid might pay a price. Major allies like Britain, France, Germany and Japan voted for the resolution, though some allies, like Australia and Canada, abstained. with 33 other abstentions and 21 delegations that were absent, representing a significant chunk of the total membership of 193.

The vote against the U.S. was more than anything else an expression of the atmosphere of hostility in the organization toward Washington. That was manifest although hardly noticed in the U.S. this year when the U.N. dispatched a special rapporteur to investigate poverty in the U.S. American taxpayers effectively paid a progressive professor to lecture them about how evil their country is.

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