When the United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it was seen as a nearly universal — if nearly toothless — rebuke of the president’s move.
Yet, just a little over a week after that vote, at least 10 countries are reportedly in talks to move their embassies to Jerusalem, according to a top Israeli official.
According to The Times of Israel, the remarks by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely came after Guatemala followed the United States’ lead and announced it was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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It’s not just Hotovely touting the possibility of a spate of embassy moves. On Monday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein used a Likud party event to announce that the parliamentary heads of two separate countries had expressed interest in moving their embassies to Jerusalem.
While Hotovely declined to name the 10 countries during her interview with Israel Radio, Honduras — Guatemala’s neighbor — is expected to be the next country to announce it’s moving its embassy to the holy city, according to Israel’s Channel 10.
“Israel and Honduras, which borders Guatemala, have enjoyed very close ties over the past few years, and in 2016 signed an agreement under which Israel agreed to enhance the the Central American country’s armed forces in an unprecedented way, in order to fight organized crime,” the Times of Israel reported.
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However, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez faces problems at home after winning a contested election. Citing voting irregularities (not to mention the questionable constitutionality of Hernandez’s decision to run for another term in the first place), the Organization of American States has called for a revote. Hernandez is a graduate of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
It remains to be seen how any of this this will affect any decision to move the Honduran Embassy in Israel. It’s also worth noting that unlike Guatemala, which had its embassy in Jerusalem from the 1950s until 1980, Honduras has never had its embassy located there.
Other nations tipped to consider moving their embassy include the West African nation of Togo and the South American state of Paraguay.
It remains to be seen who will follow Trump’s lead and acknowledge what’s patently true: namely, that Jerusalem is both the administrative and cultural center of the Jewish state and ought to be recognized as its capital.
No amount of noise from the Palestinians or the Arab world will change this very salient fact. If the United States and Guatemala end up being the only nations to move their embassies, this also doesn’t alter reality in any way, shape or form. It would merely confirm that moral blackmail on a global scale remains an effective tactic for the enemies of Israel.
However, if 10 countries really are looking at moving their embassies to Jerusalem, that would be a massive deal. If it were just the United States, the strident peddlers of global anti-Israeli invective can still attempt to write off the decision as an isolated move by the Trump administration.
If Trump’s decision has other nations shopping for real estate in the holy city, however, it will become harder and harder for those voices to deny that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state. For once, perhaps, these voices will be forced to acknowledge the reality of the situation: Neither Israel nor its supporters are going to capitulate.
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