President Trump’s apparent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital isn’t going down well with Israel’s neighbors. They are frothing at the mouth even though Jerusalem has been the de facto capital of the country for decades. Trump is about to cross a line that will turn Palestinians against him since they claim Jerusalem as well. Symbols matter to ordinary people. Jerusalem is a symbol of heritage for Zionists and so too Palestinians, although the Jews have a longer claim. Anywhere but the Middle East it probably wouldn’t matter. In the millennial enmities of the Arab-Israeli world, it does. As long as the US Embassy was in Tel Aviv, the fiction of Israel’s capital endured. Once the embassy is moved to Jerusalem, the make-believe can no longer be accepted. There are other situations like this where communications gloss over reality. Notably, there is Taiwan whom the US has never recognized because Beijing claims it as one of its provinces. It makes no difference that Taiwan has been its own country for decades. Diplomatic language and understandings make for odd bedfellows, but they endure when it suits the world to use them.