Secretary of State Rex Tillerson followed up President Trump’s announcement of the official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with his own newsmaker.
What does this mean? Other than a bunch of guys in stripey pants in Tel Aviv and Foggy Bottom befouling themselves? It’s hard to tell. Any process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is going to be time consuming. The real estate acquisition will be an issue as Jerusalem is fairly built up and obviously the embassy is not, according to the proclamation, going into East Jerusalem. Design standards for high risk embassies are rather real estate intensive. And construction in and around Jerusalem is frequently delayed by archaeological finds. And we don’t know what “process” Tillerson is envisioning from this statement.
And, as John Bolton told Harris Faulkner, the main obstacle here will be the State Department bureaucracy with is congenitally anti-Israel.
What we do know is that if there are unreasonable delays, the Netanyahu government will let their allies in the US know. So, for Tillerson’s sake, I hope he starts making some moves.