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June 11, 2017
The laws are there - it's time to take action on Jerusalem
The U.S. Senate unanimously approved Resolution 176, on June 5th, 2017, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and unequivocally reminded all that "...there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia." This was preceded by the Jerusalem Embassy Act (Public Law 104-45), legislated on November 8, 1995,(which unequivocally stated) "... that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel..." and that the American Embassy, currently housed in Tel Aviv may at the will of the President of the United States, be relocated to Israel's capital, Jerusalem.
Senate Resolution 176, as well as the many formidable legislative actions generated by the U.S. House of Representatives have demonstrated that among our electorate are honorable men and women from all sides of the political spectrum who chose not to stand down from taking on those who wish to distort our core American values and our obligation to do right by our loyal allies. They shall be remembered as examples of courage for all to emulate.
Yet, so far President Trump has chosen not to honor the intent of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 because he has not kept his word to move the American Embassy. There's little doubt it's in the name of political expediency, same as prior presidents who were fearful of further, potential alienation from already hostile nations and populations.
Lest we forget, fifty years ago, war was forced upon our loyal ally, Israel, by her neighboring nations (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq), who united in an ultimate aim of driving Israel's young and old, male and female, citizens and soldiers, Holocaust survivors, as well as Christians and Muslims sharing the land with the Jews, into the sea to their deaths. After that, their plan was to take for themselves all that the people of Israel labored so hard to build in their tiny refuge in the Middle East. Every nation of means chose to turn their back on the mixed multitude of people being targeted, preferring a wait-and-see stance. The United Nations security forces were asked to withdraw from the Sinai and did so without protest, while the United States assumed the role of a bystander. The odds of Israel's survival were minimal, at best. Yet, when push came to shove, Jews and other people of conscience came from abroad to take a stand and with their threatened brethren and together thwarted a potential second Holocaust. Israel's preemptive air strike took out the air power of Egypt within hours, while her ground forces overcame the might of well-trained and more numerous opposition armies, in six days, before a cease-and-desist treaty was initiated.
Jerusalem, once again, became a united city, and was annexed, in toto, by Israel and reaffirmed as her eternal capital. All faiths were granted and guaranteed unobstructed and protected access to their holy sites within Jerusalem, and elsewhere in Israel.
Yet, every six months since Nov. 5, 1995, a waiver to delay the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem was sought, side-stepping the United States' original commitment to the intent of Public Law 104-45, on the grounds of so-called, but unidentified national security issues.
Has the United States become safer, and the world a more stable place with the implementation of these waivers? Obviously not, as the Palestinians have capitalized on our repeated failures to act responsibly, and they use this perceived weakness to expand their unending demands. Meanwhile, they have not put aside their hatred of Israelis and Jews to concentrate on building the infrastructure necessary to support a separate state. Yet, American administrations stubbornly hold on to a dream of peace that Palestinians do not share, and a succession of American presidents have seen fit to diplomatically punish their only reliable ally in the Middle East, Israel, by denying her the same diplomatic respect that any other nation's capital currently enjoys: hosting the embassy of the United States.
Since President Trump has demonstrated his willingness to take offensive military action, as necessary, I am not so sure the feared Palestinian repercussions would become a reality. Meanwhile, Israel stands alone in the Middle East, as a proud nation with shared American values and without fear of consequences for doing so. This alone, should be rewarded, at the minimum, with the Embassy move, now.