By Elise Cooper, American Thinker—
President Trump gave supporters of Israel an early Hanukkah present when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6th. This is very much overdue and recognizes the obvious reality. Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that at least America realizes that the nation of Israel should be allowed to determine its own capital.
Presidents’ Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump all made the campaign promise to move the embassy and the current president was the only one of the four to make this significant move. Unlike the previous three presidents of both parties who only paid lip service, Trump honored his campaign commitment.
Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. He told American Thinker, “The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee and former negotiator Saeb Erekat were quoted this week protesting that an American president cannot decide Israel’s capital. Quite right, but neither could the PLO or the United Nations. Only Israel can, and it has. In peace negotiations, West Jerusalem is not in dispute anyway. It is where the Knesset, Supreme Court, president’s and prime minister’s offices are, and where they have always been. So I give the President high marks.”
Unfortunately, the current rhetoric concerning President Donald Trump’s decision can best be described as anti-Semitic. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan called the United States a “partner in bloodshed.” In Malmo, Sweden Muslim demonstrators chanted “death to the Jews,” and “shoot the Jews.”
Andrew McCarthy answered those who said all President Trump has done is spur anti-Semitism, “If you treat terrorists like they’re normal, they make terrorism a norm. If you reward their savagery with concessions, they go savage to get concessions. And if you treat Israel like it’s not a real country with real sovereign rights, Islamists conclude that they can attack Israel with abandon, on every platform from Gaza to Turtle Bay, until Israel is no more.”
Abrams goes even further, telling American Thinker, “The growth of Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe is a great problem. It has been happening for years. Some questions that need to be considered, ‘given the fact that there is such Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe how much do we want that to control American Foreign policy? How far does that argument go? How much do you give rioters, demonstrators, and anti-Semites a veto over American foreign policy?’”
If Nancy Pelosi had her way the embassy would not be moved, and those critics would have a voice. She states, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland. But in the absence of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem now may needlessly spark mass protests, fuel tensions, and make it more difficult to reach a durable peace.” Someone should remind her that she is ignoring the fact she supported the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. It had passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House and reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate that urged the Federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the city as Israel’s capital.
Maybe Pelosi should consider that under the eight years of President Obama, the Palestinians refused to negotiate. Basically, there was no peace process. So what has really changed? The Palestinians over the years have said “from the river to the sea,” fired off crude missiles, encouraged suicide bombers, paid off families if someone kills an Israeli, and still refuse to recognize Israel.
If anything, rejecting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has delegitimized the Jewish state. Abrams believes, “The refusal to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has for all these years been part of the campaign to refuse the Jewish state the legitimacy every other state gets. It makes Israel uniquely disadvantaged among nations, the only country in the entire world not permitted to choose its capital, giving a sense of impermanence and reduced rights. This is precisely why Trump’s decision is right and is important. It sends a message: The Jewish people are there now and they will be there forever, and they are there by right and not by our sufferance.”
He also wants Americans to consider an additional response, “It is the reaction of leaders all around the world who will now take Trump’s promises more seriously. Everyone knew that he couldn’t possibly mean to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, that this was just another campaign promise, but it turns out he did mean it. So when next he makes a pledge or promise or threat, don’t you think Xi or Putin or Khamenei will think twice before dismissing it?”
“Next year in Jerusalem,” are words uttered at the conclusion of the Passover Seder. Wouldn’t it be nice if those words rang true regarding the U.S. Embassy? Let’s hope it will be built with speed and President Trump will not let those in the State Department delay progress.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.