Archive for December 9, 2017

Palestinian protests won’t swell into mass resistance so long as Arab rulers and Iran see no gain

December 9, 2017

Palestinian protests won’t swell into mass resistance so long as Arab rulers and Iran see no gain, DEBKAfile, December 9, 2017

All the same, it would be premature to completely rule out a major escalation being sparked by some unforeseen event. For instance, a cell of Tanzim, the armed wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, may decide to join Hamas, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami and the extremist Popular Front – all of them with a long record of terrorism – for a spectacular terrorist attack on an Israeli or American target.  For the time being, there is no sign of this building up. The ordinary Palestinian man in the street has a job to go to on Sunday and appears to have settled on a moderate demonstration of protest for Trump’s Jerusalem strategy.

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The Palestinian Hamas finds itself shouting alone for a massive armed uprising, raising only muted echoes in the Arab world and the Palestinian street in protest at the US president’s Jerusalem decision. Most adult Palestinians, when asked, admit they see no point in sending their sons in harm’s way. Yet Israel’s mainstream media astonishingly report with great bombast every Hamas threat as though a world power is threatening World War III.

The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have it in their power to unleash a barrage of rockets against their Israeli neighbors that would be damaging and lethal enough to trigger a major confrontation with Israel’s Defense Forces. They have done this before, but not so far now. In the exchange of blows Friday night, Dec. 8, Hamas clearly pulled its punches, showing that its rhetoric was just that. Smaller factions were allowed to fire off a few short-range rockets of low accuracy in the direction of Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Israeli locations next door to the Gaza Strip. Most exploded on open ground or fell short while still in Gazan air space; one exploded harmlessly on a Sderot street and one was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery. Two Hamas activists were killed in Israeli retaliatory air strikes against three Hamas military facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas leaders understand that their leeway for extreme action is narrower than ever before. They are a lone voice, are woefully short of funds, have no real backers in the Arab world and their popularity in the wider Palestinian community is waning.

By the time the anti-US, anti-Israel Palestinian protests reached their third day, Saturday, the following picture was taking shape:

The Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) decided against taking up Hamas’ call to arms when together they could have ignited a major conflagration. After all, President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital left in ruins the diplomatic campaign he led for years as his signature for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood.

In the phone conversation he held with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday, shortly after Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem, Abu Mazen briefly considered joining the Hamas call for an extreme response. He pulled back when he realized that Haniyeh’s plan was to use the Jerusalem crisis as his pretext for hanging onto rule in the Gaza Strip. This would have wrecked the “reconciliation” deal in which Egypt invested long months as broker, in the hope of unifying the two Palestinian factions and bringing the Gaza Strip under Palestinian Authority rule. When Abu Mazen saw Haniyeh’s game, he backed away. The anti-Trump rallies in West Bank towns Thursday and Friday were consequently modest, compared with so many convulsions in the past.

Iran too pulled back from putting in its oar for inflaming Palestinian ire, because it has bigger fish to fry – even through Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah pushed hard for Tehran to instruct Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip to escalate the anti-Trump protest. Tehran’s attention is fixed on the turning-point in the Yemen civil war at Saudi Arabia’s back door, generated by the Revolutionary Guards success, in conjunction with Hizballah, to assassinate former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, after he switched sides from the Houthi insurgents to the Saudi-led coalition fighting them. The Houthis were then directed to wipe out the opposition by executing hundreds of officers and commanders loyal to Saleh.

The Palestinians are also small beer in the calculations of most members of the Arab League. Arab foreign ministers convened in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 9, for an “emergency session on Jerusalem.”  But it was summoned by the Palestinian Authority and one other Arab leader, Jordan’s King Abdullah, who has fallen out with most of his colleagues, badly enough for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, for instance, to cut of financial assistance to Amman.

Abu Mazen found Saudi Arabia and other senior Arab League members otherwise engaged. Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman was busy replacing Adel Al-Jubeir as foreign minister with his brother, Prince Khaled bin Salman, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi showed no interest in the session. Abbas quickly saw which way the wind was blowing in the Palestinians Arab hinterland.

In New York too, the emergency UN Secretary Council session on Jerusalem, after hearing the PA’s complaint against President Trump, ended with a joint expression of “disappointment” by the ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK. “We disagree with the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” they said. “The status of Jerusalem must be determined through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians leading to a final status agreement.” After that, the “disappointed” powers returned home.

All the same, it would be premature to completely rule out a major escalation being sparked by some unforeseen event. For instance, a cell of Tanzim, the armed wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, may decide to join Hamas, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami and the extremist Popular Front – all of them with a long record of terrorism – for a spectacular terrorist attack on an Israeli or American target.  For the time being, there is no sign of this building up. The ordinary Palestinian man in the street has a job to go to on Sunday and appears to have settled on a moderate demonstration of protest for Trump’s Jerusalem strategy.

Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard’

December 9, 2017

Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard’, Times of Israel, December 8, 2017

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers a speech during a United Nations Security Council meeting on December 8, 2017 in New York City (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

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At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said President Donald Trump knew his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would raise “questions and concerns,” but that he took it to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I understand the concerns that members have in calling this session,” Haley said. “Change is hard.”

Washington’s move left it isolated as one after another fellow UN Security Council members — Russia, France, the UK, China, Egypt, Jordan and a host of others — condemned the announcement.

The debate unfolded at a largely symbolic emergency meeting of the council — no vote on a resolution was planned, as the US has veto power — two days after Trump reversed two decades of US policy on the holy city.

The meeting was convened by eight of the 14 non-US members of the council. It seemed a vivid show of the discord triggered by Trump’s announcement, which included plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon before a United Nations Security Council on December 8, 2017 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)

Haley said Washington was more committed to peace “than we’ve ever been before — and we believe we might be closer to that goal than ever before.”

Haley said anyone who used Washington’s actions as a pretext for violence was “only showing” they were not partners for peace.

She noted that past Israeli-Palestinian agreements have been signed on the White House lawn, and that if there is a new agreement, there is “a good likelihood” it will be signed there as well, “because the United States has credibility of both sides.”

At the meeting, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process warned Security Council members of a risk of “violent escalation.”

Nickolay Mladenov warned that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t resolved, “it risks being engulfed in the vortex of religious radicalism throughout the Middle East.”

A Palestinian protestor uses a sling shot to throw stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes after the Friday prayers in the city center of the West Bank town of Hebron on December 8, 2017. (AFP/Hazem Bader)

Mladenov spoke of “a serious risk” of “a chain of unilateral actions” that would push the goal of peace further away. He pointed to the latest clashesbetween Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces and some calls for a new intifada, or uprising.

Mladenov also reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s words that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved through direct negotiations and that “there is no Plan B to the two-state solution.”

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour spoke of the “global consensus” against Washington’s recognition and said Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ultimately move the US embassy there should be reconsidered and rescinded.

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)

“There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution” to Jerusalem, he said, calling the city “the heart of Palestine.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the council the Trump declaration was “a positive step.”

He called on council members to “send a clear message there is never an excuse for violence. Violence must never be used as a threat.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon holds up an ancient coin from Jerusalem during his address to the UN Security Council debate on Jerusalem, December 8, 2017 (UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeIsrael)

Danon said the recognition of Jerusalem “should serve as a reality check for the Palestinians and for the nations of the world” that “recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a critical and necessary step for peace.”

Danon held up an ancient coin from Jerusalem during his speech, and said that King David made Jerusalem his capital 3,000 years ago.

The British ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said flat out that Britain disagreed with Trump’s move.

“These decisions are unhelpful for the prospects for peace in the region,” Rycroft said.

He urged Trump to now come up with detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian peace accord, a goal which has eluded the US and the international community for decades.

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

Deace: The American Bar Association Should Launch Ethics Investigation into Gloria Allred

December 9, 2017

Deace: The American Bar Association Should Launch Ethics Investigation into Gloria Allred, Breitbart,  Steve Deace, December 8, 2017

Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx

In the future, if you’re a woman who believes you’ve been wronged and you want justice, you might want to reconsider giving Allred a call. Allred is where justice goes to die, while the price of her retainer goes up.

If there truly is any justice left in this world, the Bar Association will step in here and administer some to the feckless, opportunist likes of Allred.

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Reasonable people can certainly disagree on whether or not they believe the allegations leveled against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. Especially in the #MeToo era, as scores of women are rightfully coming forward for a long-overdue reckoning with Hollywood, Washington, the media, and other halls of elite power that ignored sexual misconduct for far too long.

All the while these same hypocrites sanctimoniously preached political correctness to everyday Americans, of course.

However, reasonable people cannot disagree on this—Gloria Allred is either a hack or disgrace. And there should be an ethics investigation conducted by the American Bar Association to find out which it is.

Full disclosure, I have known Roy Moore for years and considered him a friend prior to these allegations. I endorsed his candidacy full-throat this entire year. And then, like so many others that admired his courage of conviction, I was devastated once these allegations emerged.

I have 16-year old and 12-year old daughters. My wife counsels women dealing with abuse and sexual dysfunction. So right away I am preconditioned to say to the women coming forward let justice roll down like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream. However, how do I reconcile these accusations with the man I know? A man so straight-laced he wouldn’t even remove the tags from his mattresses. A man that stood in the gap against progressivism’s post-modern takedown of American Exceptionalism, while so many others claiming to believe as we do ran.

Obviously, given our personal relationship, I was probably incapable of seeing things objectively. So when the most damning corroborating evidence against the judge emerged – the signed yearbook presented by one of his accusers – I decided my continued support of the judge would rest on its credibility. After all, the judge himself claimed it was a fabrication from day one. So if he’s going to stake his life’s work and credibility on that defense, I would follow accordingly.

In the meantime, Allred did interviews on MSNBC and CNN – hardly hostile media platforms – where she refused to affirm the credibility of that being Moore’s handwriting on the yearbook both times under direct questioning. Allred refused to meet the Moore campaign’s demand to have its authenticity independently analyzed. I even suggested this approach to my audience: have the Alabama Attorney General, the Moore campaign, and Allred each provide their chosen handwriting experts to discern its credibility. That way, both sides are represented as are the people of Alabama.

Yet along the way, Allred refused every attempt at verification. This, of course, looked suspicious. And now we know why.

On Friday, Allred and the accuser admitted they failed to disclose the yearbook inscription was doctored by the accuser. Something that wasn’t disclosed all this time until now, and in a court of law would at least lead to the evidence thrown out—if not an outright mistrial. Which means Allred either knew this in advance and didn’t disclose this potentially exonerating piece of information, or, she’s such an ambulance chasing publicity hound she didn’t care to find out before parading it before the cameras.

Translation—Allred is either a hack or a disgrace.

Either way, Allred has destroyed the credibility of her client. Not to mention likely made it harder for women in the future to be believed, even when they have stronger evidence than hearsay about what allegedly happened in Gadsden, Alabama long before Al Gore invented the Inter-Webs. At this point, the Moore Campaign should include Allred on its final disclosure report and itemize her as an in-kind contribution.

For Moore was already pulling ahead in the polls before this, and will likely get an “Allred bounce” now thanks to the coming backlash. As people in places like Alabama are beyond tired of being lectured to by fake social justice warriors, who either can’t get their basic facts right or don’t care to even try.

In the future, if you’re a woman who believes you’ve been wronged and you want justice, you might want to reconsider giving Allred a call. Allred is where justice goes to die, while the price of her retainer goes up.

If there truly is any justice left in this world, the Bar Association will step in here and administer some to the feckless, opportunist likes of Allred.

Welcome to the Hell Hole that is Brussels

December 9, 2017

Welcome to the Hell Hole that is Brussels, Gatestone InstituteDrieu Godefridi, December 9, 2017

The new Brussels is characterized by riots and looting by people of foreign origin, as well as the ongoing heavily-armed military presence in the streets of Brussels, in place since March 22, 2016, the day that European Islamists murdered 32 and wounded 340 people in the worst-ever terrorist attack in Belgium.

One may wonder why these fine Belgian soldiers patrolling the streets do nothing to stop the rioters. For the simple reason that it is outside of their remit; should a soldier actually hurt a looter, he would probably be publicly chastised, pilloried by the media, put on trial and dishonorably discharged.

Ironically, what Brussels now obviously needs is another Donald Trump.

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Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

If you penetrate the thick cloud of professional indignation to scrutinize the reality of the “capital of Europe”, what you see in many respects is actually a hell hole, one where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal.

When then-candidate Donald Trump noted in January 2016 that, thanks to mass immigration, Brussels was turning into a hell hole, Belgian and European politicians presented a united front at the (media) barricades: How dare he say such a thing? Brussels, capital of the European Union, the very quintessence of the post-modern world, the avant-garde of the coming new “global civilization,” a hell hole? Of course assimilating newcomers is not always easy, and there may be friction from time to time. But never mind, they said: Trump is a buffoon, and anyway, he has zero chance of getting elected. Such were the thoughts of those avid readers of The New York Times International Edition and regular watchers of CNN International.

However, Donald Trump, in his unmistakable, brash style, was quite simply right: Brussels is rapidly descending into chaos and anarchy. Exactly two months after that dramatic Trumpism, Brussels was eviscerated by a horrific Islamic terror attack that left 32 people dead. And that was only the tip of the monstrous iceberg that has built up over three decades of mass immigration and socialist madness.

Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

First, there was the qualification of the Moroccan team to the soccer World Cup: between 300 and 500 “youths” of foreign origin took to the streets of Brussels to “celebrate” the event in their own way, looting dozens of shops in the historical center of Brussels, wreaking havoc in the deserted avenues of the “capital of civilization” and, during their riot, injuring 22 police officers.

Riot police, backed by a water cannon, attempt to push back rioters in the center of Brussels, Belgium, on November 12. Hundreds of “youths” of foreign origin “celebrated” the World Cup qualification of Morocco’s soccer team by rioting and injuring 22 police officers. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Three days later, a social media rap music star nicknamed “Vargasss 92,” who is a French citizen of foreign origin, decided to organize another unauthorized “celebration” in the center of Brussels, which quickly turned into another riot. Again, shops were destroyed and people assaulted for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Short clips of the event streamed onto the social networks, showing the world (and Belgians) the true face of Brussels without the politicians’ makeover. No wonder the European political elite hate social media from the depths of their hearts; they prefer the sanitized (and, in both France and francophone Belgium, heavily subsidized) traditional press.

Finally, on November 25, the socialist authorities in charge of the City of Brussels had the bright idea of authorizing a demonstration against slavery in Libya, which quickly descended into yet another riot: shops were destroyed, cars set on fire, 71 people arrested.

This lawlessness, with not even the remotest political justification, is the new normal in Brussels. Politicians may not like that fact, which is the result of their lamentable failure, but it is nonetheless a massive and unavoidable fact. The new Brussels is characterized by riots and looting by people of foreign origin, as well as the ongoing heavily-armed military presence in the streets of Brussels, in place since March 22, 2016, the day that European Islamists murdered 32 and wounded 340 people in the worst-ever terrorist attack in Belgium.

One may wonder why these fine Belgian soldiers patrolling the streets do nothing to stop the rioters. For the simple reason that it is outside of their remit; should a soldier actually hurt a looter, he would probably be publicly chastised, pilloried by the media, put on trial and dishonorably discharged.

It would be funny if it were not so serious. After the first two recent riots, Belgian state television (RTBF) organized a debate with politicians and pundits from Brussels. Among the participants was Senator Alain Destexhe, from the center-right Reformist Movement (the party of Belgium’s Prime Minister).

Destexhe is an interesting figure in Belgian politics. In French-speaking Belgium, he has been among the few to say publicly that the mass-immigration Belgians are inflicting upon themselves is unsustainable, that Islam may not be such a peaceful religion, and that school classes in which 90% of the children are of foreign origin, who do not speak French or Dutch at home, are not a recipe for success. Such may be taken as a given in much of the Western world, but in the French-speaking part of Belgium, heavily influenced by the French worldview, he was considered right-wing, if not an extremist, a racist, and other such niceties the Left often utters.

When, during this debate, Destexhe tried to make his point — that there is a connection between the non-integration of many people of foreign origin in Brussels and the decades-long high level of immigration — the moderator literally yelled at him that “Migration is not the subject, Monsieur Destexhe! MIGRATION IS NOT THE SUBJECT, STOP!”, before giving the word to a “slam poet”, a young woman who explained that the problem was that women wearing the Islamic veil (such as herself) do not feel welcome in Brussels. The audience was then instructed to applaud her. Also on the set was a Green Party politician who affirmed that “nobody knows the origin of the rioters.” Hint: they were, in their own idiosyncratic way, “celebrating” Morocco‘s victory. A great moment of Belgian surrealism? No, just a typical political “debate” in French-speaking Belgium, except that normally Destexhe is not invited.

The picture would not be complete without mentioning that the very night that the first riot began, November 11, an association called MRAX (Mouvement contre le racisme, l’antisémitisme et la xénophobie) published on its Facebook page an appeal to report any case of “police provocation” or “police violence”. The results of the riot? 22 police officers hurt, zero arrests. MRAX is not only a bunch of leftist Islamist sympathizers, they are heavily financed by taxpayers. Are movements from the right also financed by taxpayers? Simply put: No. In Brussels, the unemployment rate is a staggering 16.9%, a mind-boggling 90% of those on welfare have foreign origins, and although taxes are among the highest in the world, the public coffers are nonetheless bleeding. A sad snapshot of yet another socialist failure.

But there is hope. Brussels is not only Molenbeek and rioting, it has a robust tradition of entrepreneurship, and Belgium’s federal government, particularly its Flemish component, is extremely conscious of the challenges that need facing. But nothing is going to change if people do not recognize that in many respects Brussels has, from the opulent conservative and “bourgeois” city that it was 25 years ago, morphed into a hell hole.

Ironically, what Brussels now obviously needs is another Donald Trump.

Drieu Godefridi, a classical-liberal Belgian author, is the founder of the l’Institut Hayek in Brussels. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris and also heads investments in European companies.

U.S. Still Won’t List Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital on Official Docs, Passports, Maps

December 9, 2017

U.S. Still Won’t List Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital on Official Docs, Passports, Maps, Washington Free Beacon , December 8, 2017

(Does this mean that everything is on-hold until the Palestinian Authority and Israel agree on who owns what in Jerusalem? How can the Amerian Embassy be built in Jerusalem until the matter is resolved? — DM)

The Old City in Jerusalem / Getty Images

“The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations,” the official said. “The United States is not taking a position on boundaries or borders.”

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The United States still will not formally recognize Jerusalem as being located in Israel on official documents, maps, and passports, despite President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this week that America is formally recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital, according to State Department officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter.

Despite Trump’s declaration, which was formally codified on Wednesday into U.S. policy, the State Department is taking a more nuanced position on the matter, drawing some ire in Congress among pro-Israel lawmakers who accuse the State Department of undermining Trump’s efforts.

State Department officials this week had difficulty stating as fact that Jerusalem is located within Israel, instead trying to parse the issue as still subject to diplomatic negotiations.

State Department officials who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation said that while it supports Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, it is not yet at the point where it will list Jerusalem as part of Israel on passports, maps, and official documents. This means that official documents, such as passports, will not, at this point, list “Jerusalem, Israel” as a place that exists.

The State Department’s careful parsing of the issue has already drawn outrage on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers are describing this as part of an effort to undermine the Trump White House’s clear-cut declaration on the matter.

“The president is the commander-in-chief and America’s sole organ when it comes to conducting foreign policy,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Free Beacon.  “Article II of the Constitution does not vest this authority in bureaucrats in the State Department.”

“The State Department must permit Americans born in Jerusalem to list ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on their passports and must follow the logical implications of this historic recognition in other policy areas,” DeSantis said. ” President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was the right thing to do and enjoys broad support from the American people; an entrenched bureaucracy has no right to stymie this decision.”

A State Department official who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter made clear that the United States now “recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its seat of government.”

However, “the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations,” the official said, explaining that the holy city’s exact location and placement in Israel proper is still up for debate.

“While we are affirming the current and historic reality of Jerusalem’s role as Israel’s capital and seat of government, any ultimate determination of sovereignty over Jerusalem will flow from the results of negotiations between the parties,” the State Department official explained.

With regards to U.S. passports for Americans born in Jerusalem, there will be no formal change in American policy on the matter.

The issue of listing “Jerusalem, Israel” as a person’s birthplace has been a hot button issue over the years, with a case even being adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Americans born in Jerusalem still will not be able to list Israel as the birth nation on their passports.

“There is no change in policy at this time,” according to the State Department official. “We will provide any new guidance as and when appropriate.”

With regards to official maps and documentation, the State Department is still engaged in a process to figure out how exactly to classify Jerusalem.

“The president is taking a specific step in affirming that the United States believes that Jerusalem has and will continue to serve as Israel’s capital—and the U.S. is not backing off efforts towards encouraging the parties to resolve their differences over final status issues in a comprehensive peace agreement,” according to the State Department official.

However, the president’s declaration is limited in nature and is being reviewed by the State Department as it moves forward.

“The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations,” the official said. “The United States is not taking a position on boundaries or borders.”

When asked if official documents will bear the words, “Jerusalem, Israel,” the State Department could not provide a concrete answer.

“This is quite a complex issue that we continue to study and work through,” the official said.

One senior official at a large, national pro-Israel organization cautioned against viewing the State Department’s stance as an effort to subvert Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem.

“It’s too early to panic,” the official, speaking on background, told the Free Beacon. “The administration was focused on getting the broad policy correct and meeting the president’s demand that we finally acknowledge the simple reality Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”

“Now they’re going to take a month to figure out the consequences,” explained the official, who has been briefed on the situation. “Implementing pro-Israel fact-based policy is a new thing for some of our diplomats, and many others have forgotten how that works in recent years, so people are willing to give them some time. If at the end of the process nothing has changed, there will be broad criticism – to say nothing of pro-Israel voters around the county who will be bitterly let down.”