An avalanche of embassy moves to Jerusalem begins
Last week, the Trump administration announced that the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv would move to Israel's actual capital, Jerusalem. As the cognoscenti shrieked, some ten nations are now planning to do the same in a snowball effect. According to the New York Post:
Israel is in talks with more than 10 countries – including some in Europe – about potentially moving their respective embassies to Jerusalem, according to officials.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Monday said the nations were interested in following President Trump's footsteps and declaring the Israeli city the new capital in the wake of Guatemala's recent decision to do so.
Pretty amazing what U.S. leadership will do. The U.S. move provided all ten of those nations plausible cover for moving their nations to Jerusalem after us. Prior to that, they stayed put.
It makes absolutely perfect sense for them to move. Here's why.
Most nations want nothing to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict and have no influence over its events. They aren't players, nobody wants their opinion, and they don't have the expertise or exposure, and it's none of their business. They are nations, however, and nations have interests.
What's the interest of a tiny nation such as Guatemala or Honduras in the broader conflicts of the Middle East? Nil. But such nations do want to develop their countries and draw foreign investment to ensure job creation and a rising standard of living for their locals. One of the best nations for this pursuit of national interest is Israel. Would it not make sense to get on Israel's good side and move embassies to Jerusalem? The Israelis would be delighted, and they would probably bend over backwards to help these nations in achieving their goals.
Israel is such a good ally for any nation to have.
For starters, and little known to the media community, Israel is a high-tech powerhouse to rival Silicon Valley. Other places try to set up Silicon Valleys and flunk, but Israel is one of the few places that have really succeeded – and like the original Silicon Valley, there was nothing centrally planned about it. Israel is such a success as a tech powerhouse that some say it is the "brains" of Silicon Valley, given the kind of outposts all the big tech companies have set up in that country and the kinds of operations (design and software development) they are.
Besides tech, Israelis are also famous problem-solvers – on intractable resource issues such as water and natural gas. Israel, after all, is the nation that made the desert bloom. It's the nation whose greenery outlines its borders from airline flights. It has no water problems – it exports water. What's more, with energy an issue in the last decade and fracking and other technologies for extraction rising, Israel has mastered many of these technologies and is poised to develop its great natural gas fields offshore, too.
It's the can-do country. Case in point: The water problems Ethiopia has been having are being resolved by the Israelis.
"There's a view that the Middle East faces an impossible water predicament," author George Gilder told an American Freedom Alliance conference last week. "In reality, the water crisis is bogus."
He pointed out that Israel resolved its water problems by using the talents of its entrepreneurs. "Since 1948 Israel's population is up 10-fold, arable land threefold, agriculture output 16-fold, industrial output 50-fold, yet net water usage dropped 10%," Gilder said.
The country recycles 83% of its own water, buys sewage from the Palestinians to turn into usable water, invented drip irrigation and is the world leader in desalinization. These have made Israel close to self-sufficient in water ever since it freed its economy in 1995.
And remember: water isn't the only problem Israel is good at solving – the Israelis have top expertise in archaeological preservation, in energy development, in alternative energy if a nation is interested in that, in medicine, education, science, culture, and quite a bit more.
Why wouldn't a nation such as Guatemala or Honduras (which is reportedly the next nation that will move its embassy) want something like that? A little piece of this great treasure trove for mutual benefit? Why wouldn't they want to reach out to Israel and acknowledge its right to exist by moving their embassy to where Israel's government really is? When word gets out about how intensifying friendship by moving embassies to Jerusalem benefits nations that extend their hands, you can bet there is going to be a lot more of it. An avalanche is already starting.