エルサレムをイスラエルの首都と認識するのは無謀だ。 彼がこうしたことをどうしても一新したいのであれば彼はこの聖都に一つではなく2つの大使館を開かねばならない。

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is reckless
If he must shake things up, he should open two embassies in the holy city, not one
Dec 7th 2017


JERUSALEM is both heavenly and earthly, holy and sinful. “Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest,” says the Talmud. Sometimes, however, it seems as if ten measures of suffering God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest. The medieval Arab geographer, al-Muqaddasi, called the holy city “a golden bowl full of scorpions”. 


In announcing this week that America recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and would start the process of moving the American embassy there from Tel Aviv (see article), President Donald Trump claimed to be honouring Israel’s democracy. He was, he said, simply acknowledging reality; he still sought peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. In fact, his move has the nasty sting of a scorpion. 

nasty:やっかいな, 扱いにくい〈問題・状況〉

Israel is unusual in having a capital that is not recognised by the rest of the world. No country keeps an embassy in Jerusalem. This oddity is a product of history. After 1947, when the UN voted to partition the then-British mandate of Palestine, Jerusalem was declared an international city, part neither of the future Jewish state nor of the Arab one. But in the subsequent war Israel and Jordan divided the city and two decades later, in the war of 1967, Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem. 

partition:〈部屋・建物〉を衝立で仕切る(off); 〈国〉を分割する

Arab residents were given a special status, but building projects, population policies and, latterly, the security barrier all served to strengthen the Jews in their “eternal and undivided capital”. The Oslo accords of 1993, which created an autonomous Palestinian Authority, left the status of Jerusalem as one of several “final status issues” to be settled in a permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Congress called for the American embassy to be moved to Jerusalem, and presidential candidates often promised to do so. In office, though, they always found reasons to delay. Now Mr Trump claims to be bringing “very fresh thinking” to the Middle East: “I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” It will help neither. 

To begin with, it is an admission of failure. Mr Trump is prejudging the outcome of the “ultimate deal” of Israeli-Palestinian peace that he claims to be pursuing. He has given Israel the prize of recognition without extracting anything in return, and does not mention Palestinians’ right to statehood. That has both weakened his own influence in any peace talks and America’s claim to be a fair mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians. 

admission:make an admission of guilt [defeat, failure] 罪[敗北, 失敗]を認める
prejudge :十分な判断材料もなく)(〈人・物事〉について)判断を下す, (…を)決めてかかる.
statehood:the Palestinian dream of statehood 独立国家となるパレスチナ人の夢.

Second, Mr Trump has further discredited the already feeble Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and all those who argue that Palestinian aspirations can be met by negotiation rather than violence. Third, he has embarrassed Arab allies, and made it harder for them to move towards a de facto alliance with Israel to counteract the expansion of Iran’s influence in the Middle East. 

feeble:弱った, 衰弱した; 力のない
aspirations:have aspirations to enter [for] college 大学入学を切望する

Mr Trump perhaps calculates that Arab regimes are too concerned with other crises to bother with Palestine, and that the Palestinians are too divided and dispirited to do much about it. Yet even if the prospect of Palestinian unrest is muted, Mr Trump pointlessly risks stoking violence. 

dispirited:意気消沈した, 落胆した, 気落ちした.

Mr Trump is at pains to say that America will accept any future deal on Jerusalem that Israel and the Palestinians can agree on. In practice the United States, like most other countries, already treats Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Its diplomats and politicians—including presidents—routinely meet Israeli ministers in Jerusalem. Yet if recognition makes little practical difference, why did Mr Trump bother? 

pains:be at [take, go to] (great) pains to do⦅主に書⦆…しようと骨を折る, 苦心する

The answer has nothing to do with American policy in the Middle East and everything to do with domestic politics. At home Mr Trump has struggled to enact his promises because of resistance in Congress and the courts. Abroad, though, he has now honoured a radical promise—one his predecessors were too feckless to keep. It helps, too, that his electoral base admires Israel and dislikes Arabs; and that many evangelicals think the ingathering of the Jews will hasten the end of days. 

feckless :(意志が弱く)無能な, 甲斐性(かいしよう)のない; 役立たずの.

Mr Trump would have been best advised not to touch Jerusalem at all. It should have been left as the crown in a final peace agreement. But if he must shake things up, then he should double down on his radicalism: open not one embassy in Jerusalem but two. One would manage ties with Israel and the other in East Jerusalem would deal with the Palestinian state, which he should also recognise. Two embassies for two states for two peoples: that would be truly fresh thinking. 

double down:倍賭けする◆ギャンブルにおいて、負けるたびに賭け金を2倍ずつ増やし続けること。負けが続いても、勝った時点でそれまでの損金を全て取り戻すことができる。



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