In a week full of acrimonious conflict over scandals and media reporting, perhaps the biggest policy news of the week was lost in the shuffle. The Trump White House announced it would not be moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem at this time, a violation of one of Trump’s most dramatic and direct campaign promises. Worse than the decision itself is the rationale behind the decision – a gesture to promote the peace process, the holy grail of the globalist foreign policy swamp.
Thus, the indefinite delay on moving the embassy is a pungent example of Trump’s adoption of his predecessor’s policies regarding Israel. In fact, the administration has declined to affirm that Israel owns the Western Wall and has intimated that it is subject to final status agreements, the very sentiment that conservatives lambasted Obama and Kerry for adopting in the waning days of his presidency.
This is not just about Trump and Israel; this is emblematic of the destruction of the entire Republican Party on every issue. It would be better if Republicans were simply open about being just one little step to the right of wherever the Democrat Part is at a given moment. We’d be able to air this debate out in the primaries and fix the party. Yet whether it’s for president, Congress, or governor, every Republican runs emphatically on our views and then pursues diametrically opposed policies upon assuming office.
Nobody articulated this better than Ted Cruz during the primaries. Here is what Cruz warned regarding the promise about the Jerusalem embassy in a March 2016 speech at the AIPAC convention:
The speech resonated at the time because everyone knew that Cruz laid it on the line and actually fought for these issues beyond the typical Republican. The problem in Washington is that the inertia and gravitational pull is so strong, only those with a well-developed and deeply held set of views will run counter to it. Everyone else who runs as a Republican will go along with the swamp in no time. Nobody doubted for a minute that Cruz meant business because he demonstrated it time and again on this and many other issues.
Fast-forward one year, and we now have an administration that is not only declining to move the embassy, but obsessing about Israeli settlements, one of the most notorious acts of the Obama administration, roundly condemned by conservatives. More broadly, it demonstrates that the administration clearly doesn’t understand the Islamic threat and is continuing Obama’s policies of willful blindness towards the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ironically, and quite tragically, it was at that very same podium last year that Trump boldly declared he would move the embassy to the “eternal” capital of Israel:
Now, his administration can’t even vouch for the Western Wall being in Israel, and the president will not appear with Benjamin Netanyahu at that site during his upcoming visit.
This is about so much more than Israel. Whether it’s Obamacare, Iran, Obama’s amnesty, religious liberty, building the wall, defunding Planned Parenthood – the list goes on and on – this party does the exact opposite of what they say they will do on the campaign trail.
Conservatives would be wise to discern in future primaries who has actually demonstrated the integrity, principles, and fortitude to actively fight for those very issues in the past. If they have never done so until now, it’s almost a sure bet they will do nothing meaningful to fight against the swamp upon assuming office. That opportunity is rapidly approaching with some special elections and again in 2018. Many conservatives are pulling their hair out and lamenting the drastic dichotomy between promises and action. But if they don’t change their behavior from “Charlie Brown and the football” mode with this party, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.