Is there a hardier perennial in American presidential campaigns than promising to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem?
[Palin] We will support Israel [and] a two-state solution, building our embassy, also, in Jerusalem–those things that we look forward to being able to accomplish, with this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track record of being able to forge these peace agreements.
Biden didn’t take the bait–good for him.
Every Democrat and Republican since George McGovern has promised to move the embassy. Once in office, none has made any effort to do so, on the advice of the State Department. President Reagan ignored noise from Congress, but a bill sponsored by Bob Dole was passed in 1995, requiring the US to start building a new embassy within two years. Every president since has waived the law every six months; President Bush continues to, even as he says
my administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.
McCain has said that he would make the move “right away”. Obama, still smarting from an earlier gainer-with-a-half-twist on the status of Jerusalem, said that the move would have to await a final-status agreement.
This is triple-distilled, 180-proof pandering. Israeli leaders don’t care about the issue, and even discourage American politicians from bringing it up. It’s too much to hope that Obama or Biden will point out the hypocrisy of it all. “Mr. McCain won’t move the embassy, and neither will I. He won’t tell you. I just did” probably isn’t a winning strategy.