The immovable ladder (also known as a status quo ladder) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has remained in the same location since the year 1757. The ladder has become the very symbol of “immovable” due to an understanding that no cleric of the six ecumenical Christian orders may move, rearrange, or alter any property without the consent of the other five orders. There are many immovable ladders and sacred cows in our world and President Trump has just moved two of them, Jerusalem status and US tax code, with a gentle touch of polar bear, and guess what – nothing terrible happened because in our dynamic world some things have to be moved.
The immovable ladder (also known as a status quo ladder) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
For all his contradictions two things Trump got right: recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and tax reform. Just two these things count more than eight years of Obama in the White House. Both these decisions are highly unpopular and hotly contested.
Almost all media channels predicted that Apocalypses will get down on the Middle East in the aftermath of Trump’s decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital. Yet the sun still shines, sky is still blue and life in Jerusalem and elsewhere goes on like nothing happens, because the presidential order just confirmed reality on the ground. If Palestinians had really wanted the state of their own, they should have agreed to Ramallah as a capital and live in piece and happiness instead of this mess and misery. With one less illusion to carry on Palestinians are now closer to peace than ever. Behind the scenes Saudis are not so gently nudging Palestinian leadership in the right direction, urging them to take what is offered while it’s offered and get rid the world of this pestering itch called Palestine.
Unpopularity of tax reform is more complicated. It’s an eternal conflict of Keynes vs Friedman and the sad truth is that America’s population is turning Keynesian towards the Swedish model of socialism, leaving behind competitiveness of once great US economy more and more shadowed by unrestrained Chinese entrepreneurship.