Serial plagiarist and cable television host Fareed Zakaria made a doozy of a point on Anderson Cooper's CNN show last night. During a segment on President Trump's expected decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Zakaria told Cooper, "By the way, this is an issue in which the United States would be siding not with Israel, but with the current Israeli government."
Where Zakaria came up with this one, we do not know. Maybe he cribbed from the wrong Wikipedia page?
Jerusalem's status as the holiest city in Judaism goes back thousands of years. The Knesset, the democratically elected legislature of Israel, has been situated in Jerusalem since the founding of the Jewish State in 1948. Israel's victory over three Arab armies brought the Old City under its control in 1967. United Jerusalem has been Israel's capital for half a century. This is the reality President Trump is expected to acknowledge in his speech today. How dare he!
Israelis overwhelmingly believe Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and support the move of the United States embassy to the ancient city. Last May, a poll conducted by Israel Hayom found that 13 of 21 members of the Knesset (MKs) surveyed were for the relocation. (There are 120 MKs in all.)
Just this morning, Avi Gabbay, the new head of the storied Labor Party, told a conference: "When my parents came from Morocco to Jerusalem, I can assure you they didn't check the State Department website to see if it's the capital or not. They knew Jerusalem is the capital and just came." Gabbay added that President Trump's recognition of reality could spur negotiations for a settlement.
Trump is also popular in Israel. A Jerusalem Post poll conducted last June found that 61 percent of Israelis thought that President Trump is pro-Israel. That same month, a Pew study found that 56 percent of Israelis had confidence in President Trump "to do the right thing" in foreign policy. Their confidence seems to have been well founded.
So Zakaria is wrong—what else is new. By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and beginning the years-long process of moving our embassy there, the United States is indeed siding with Israel. Just not with Fareed Zakaria. And who really wants to be on his side, anyway?