We salute President Donald Trump for following through this past Monday on his commitment to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Kudos also to the president’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for their important assistance in bringing this about.
Although what happened on Monday was momentous, in retrospect, it should not have been all that remarkable. After all, The Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995 declared Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and mandated that the U.S. embassy be transferred to Jerusalem no later than 1999! However, as is well known, presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, although making promises that they would follow the law did not.
To his everlasting credit, President Trump – who has now shown himself to be perhaps the greatest friend Israel has ever had in the White House – was not deterred by the many predictions that the Arab world would unite behind the Palestinians in resisting this move and that America’s geopolitical interests would suffer.
He shrewdly concluded that the Palestinian issue was no longer the center of gravity in the Middle East – if it ever really was. Much more central is the Iran threat, which has created an unlikely alliance of sorts between Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Israel’s economic power and astonishing military and technological advances have also drawn some of its neighbors closer to it.
Monday’s events came at a particularly opportune time. The message of firm U.S. support for Israel after eight years of Obama wilderness was unmistakable and cannot but dissuade Palestinian President Abbas from thinking he can continue fashioning a fictive Palestinian narrative and sell it to an amen corner in the White House. It is also a message to Iran and others that the U.S. stands behind its allies and is not concerned about political correctness.
To be sure, some are claiming that the embassy move and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital violates international law as determined by the United Nations. But the UN’s obsessive targeting of Israel has long since delegitimized that body concerning anything Middle East-related.
In one fell swoop, President Trump has now told the Palestinians that time is not on their side and they best think seriously about coming to terms with Israel. As the president has said, it is inconceivable that Israel would ever enter into any agreement that does not recognize Jerusalem as its capital. By taking the Jewish connection to Jerusalem “off the table” but also vowing to support any agreement Israel and the Palestinians come up with, the president has incentivized the Palestinians, as they have never been before, to think long and hard about their priorities.
Considering all the good news, it pains us to note that many in the media are competing with each other to discredit the embassy move by running front-page headlines like the one in The New York Times on May 15: “Israelis Kill Dozens in Gaza.” No sub-headings even hint at the violence of Hamas terrorists seeking to kill Jews in supposed retaliation for the embassy relocation. Hamas has actually been preparing for a mass assault on the fence outside Gaza for months, cynically anticipating that it would result in many Palestinian deaths.
Many news outlets ran descriptions of Palestinian terrorists fighting Israel alongside celebrations of the embassy move. Typical is this from The New York Times: “The two scenes, only an hour’s drive apart, illustrated the chasm dividing Israelis and Palestinians than at any moment in recent history.”
The intent to garner sympathy for the Palestinians is transparent. The anti-Trump “resistance” and anti-Israel cabal continue unabated.