As of Monday, the United States' embassy in Israel is located in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv. The move has in some ways reconciled U.S. policy to reality. Congress has supported the move since it passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, and Israel has proclaimed Jerusalem to be its capital since 1949. But in the five months since Trump announced the move, one aspect of its political context has become more clear: Palestinian power and influence is at a low ebb.
Trump received nothing from Israel in return for granting a long-standing request. The Trump administration is reportedly working on a plan for Mideast peace, and if the president needed bargaining chips to trade for Israeli concessions, the embassy move would have been a useful one. The fact that he gave this chip away suggests that pressuring Israel to accommodate Palestinian demands is a low priority for the United States.
Arab nations' denunciations of the move, meanwhile, have been toothless and perfunctory. Israel's relations with many Arab nations are warming — partially because of the deepening Saudi-Iranian rivalry — with a corresponding decline in support for Palestinian causes. The dream of a fully sovereign Palestinian state has never seemed more distant.