Running Up the Score, Trump Envoys Accused of Undiplomatic Actions
The football analogies are rife after President Trump’s ambassador to Israel and envoy to the peace process participated in a ceremony staged by a right-wing Jewish organization celebrating Israeli control over post-1967 areas of Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the dedication of an ancient roadway was one more link in a chain of events amounting to “running up the score” that have left the political right euphoric and the Palestinians distraught. Critics of the Trump administration argue that after recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem; after moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; and after recognizing Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the participation of Ambassador David Friedman and envoy Jason Greenblatt in the opening of the “Path of the Pilgrims” – a road running between the Pools of Siloam and the Temple Mount area — was unnecessary and gratuitous even if one is to accept the “pragmatic reality” Greenblatt spoke of. Indeed, those not accepting the logic insist that even if the administration’s representatives are correct, diplomatic courtesy would have been to leave the celebrating to non-diplomats given the degree of distrust and misgiving that has already made American negotiators persona non grata to the Palestinians. Nevertheless, the ceremony brought together a veritable “Who’s Who” of right-wing politicians and funders grateful for the Trump administration’s ongoing support for positions previously unheard of in the nation’s diplomatic calculus.