Donald Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

That promise was made not only during the campaign, but after the election.

In response, the Palestinians did what they always do — internationalize the conflict coupled with threats of violence.

Numerous high officials in the Palestinian Authority issued increasingly vitriolic threats and attempts to turn the Embassy move into an act against Islam. We explored these threats and strategy in prior posts:

In light of these threats, I asked Will Trump capitulate to Palestinian threats over U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem?:

Capitulation encourages more threats of violence, and actual violence, as a Palestinian policy tool. Calling their bluff could be a major move towards peace, as it will remove threats as a negotiating position.

Will Trump capitulate?

Since that post, Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have succeeded in internationalize the incitement, as even anti-American Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is getting in on the act:

Moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a declaration of war on Islam, influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Tuesday.

“Transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be a public and more-explicit-than-ever declaration of war against Islam,” he said in a statement.

Sadr, a firebrand Shiite cleric whose militia once fought US occupation forces in Iraq, called for the “formation of a special division to liberate Jerusalem were the decision to be implemented.”

Sadr said the Cairo-based Arab League as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s main pan-Islamic body, should take a decisive stand on the issue or dissolve themselves.

Abbas also appealed to the Russians for help, reiterating his threats:

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has turned to Russian president Vladimir Putin for help preventing the proposed United States embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, AFP reported on Friday.

PA official Saeb Erekat communicated the request from Abbas to Putin in Moscow in the form of a letter. “The letter asks President Putin to do what he can about the information we have that President-elect Donald Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem, which for us is a red line and dangerous,” he said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Until Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s press briefing yesterday, I would have said there was no way Trump would capitulate. But then Spicer dropped what was a bombshell — that no decision had been made whether to move the Embassy and that discussions were only in the “very early stages”:

I’m still looking for a longer video clip, but in the statement above Spicer mentioned the administration was working with the State Department about the move.

That “no decision” position was reiterated today:

The question rises again, has Trump capitulated to Islamist threats of violence?

This has all the appearances of the State Department using its historically poor judgment about the Arab world to slow walk and stymie Trump’s promise to move the Embassy.

Yoam Ettinger writes, President Trump vs. the Department of State:

In order to avoid the failed Middle East track record of all US Presidents, since 1948, President Trump should refrain from – rather than repeat – the systematic errors committed by his predecessors.

They were misguided by the political correctness and conventional “wisdom” of the US State Department, which courted Saddam Hussein until the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, embraced Ayatollah Khomeini, betrayed the Shah of Iran, identified with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, deserted Mubarak, heralded Arafat as a messenger of peace, facilitated the Hamas takeover of Gaza, and welcomed the Arab Tsunami as “Arab Spring, a transition toward democracy.” The State Department has sacrificed the 1,400-year-old complex, disintegrating, unpredictable, volcanic, violently-intolerant and frenzied Middle East reality on the altar of well-intentioned, but oversimplified and futile attempts to reset the Middle East in accordance with a Western state-of-mind and values.

It may be that Trump has not changed his plans.

But regardless of the intentions, it appears to be capitulation, and will further encourage more threats and Palestinian intransigence.

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