To say that the city of Jerusalem, the entire Land of Israel, has a contentious history would be a colossal understatement. Doing justice to the entire history of this land in the Southern Levant in one short piece would be an impossible task.
Let us simply deal with the reality of the world today. Israel is by far America’s greatest friend and ally in the Middle East, a challenging region of the world where those are hard to come by for the United States.
When the modern State of Israel was formed nearly seven decades ago, the United States under President Harry Truman was first to recognize it as legitimate.
Over the ensuing decades, through times of outright war and spasmodic peace, United States support for Israel has slowly but steadily grown stronger. Drawing lines on a graph to display that U.S. support would look more like a roller coaster than a straight, steady upward incline, but the overall movement would certainly be upward.
Donald Trump is perhaps the greatest U.S. Presidential supporter that the Israelis have had to date. He now appears poised to become the first to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
This public recognition has not happened previously due to claims on Jerusalem by the Palestinians. Not wanting to further inflame tensions in the region, past administrations have withheld this recognition, and have kept the U.S. foreign embassy located in Tel Aviv.
The President’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, has been intimately involved in relations between the administration and Israel since the momentous 2016 election. Just yesterday, Kushner stated that he wasn’t sure the President actually had made up his mind on formal recognition.
“He’s still looking at a lot of different facts, and then when he makes his decision, he’ll be the one to want to tell you, not me,” said Kushner per Marisa Schultz for the New York Post. \
Still, rumors persist of a speech this week by the President granting just such recognition. This past Friday, Jonathan Swan at Axios reported that “two sources with direct knowledge” had told him that the speech would likely come on Wednesday.
The capital of Israel is the city of Jerusalem. This is the location for their formal seat of government, the Knesset.
David Ben-Gurion, the nation’s first Prime Minister, stated the following in 1949:
“Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel, just as it is an integral part of Jewish history and belief. Jerusalem is the heart of the State of Israel…its eternal capital.”
“Twice in the history of our nation were we driven out of Jerusalem, only after being defeated in bitter wars by the larger, stronger forces of Babylon and Rome. Our links with Jerusalem today are no less deep than in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Flavius, and when Jerusalem was attacked after the fourteenth of May 1948, our valiant youngsters risked their lives for our sacred capital no less than our forefathers did in the time of the First and Second Temples. A nation that, for two thousand and five hundred years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem. Jewish Jerusalem will never accept alien rule after thousands of its youngsters liberated their historic homeland for the third time, redeeming Jerusalem from destruction and vandalism.”
“The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.”
In a Sunday op-ed at the Los Angeles Times, Dan Schnur speculated that this would become yet another divisive issue for Democrats:
“Although Democrats and Republicans have long been united in their support for Israel, Trump’s penchant for confrontation, invective and nastiness may pollute the bipartisan consensus on Israel, turning a pro-Israel position into yet one more part of the Trump agenda that Democrats feel justified in rejecting.”
If true, all it would demonstrate would be that Democrats simply refuse to support even their own supposedly long held positions and feelings when it comes to any accomplishment for the Trump administration. If Dems support Israel, then support Israel, no matter who is the President at any given time.
Democrats need to grow up and embrace issues such as this one in a bipartisan way. Jerusalem is factually the capital of Israel. Formal recognition of that fact and movement of the U.S. embassy to that city is long overdue. This finally becoming reality would mark yet another major accomplishment for President Trump and his team.