Yesterday, President Donald Trump made a historic move to fulfill his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – a welcome move for us here at the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. For the past 20 years, U.S. presidential candidates have promised the American and Israeli people to move the embassy to Jerusalem upon their election. However, once elected, Presidents have back away from their promises – fearing it would undermine peace talks and incite violence.
We cannot not be intimidated because of the possibility that recognizing Jerusalem will incite violence. If violence results because of the move, it will be unfortunate, but it is also worth remembering that President Truman’s recognition of Israel was also met with violence – which ended with Israel having more territory than previously recommended in the U.N. Partition Plan.
Every president since President Truman has failed to bring about a lasting peace to the conflict. For nearly 70 years, American presidents have been proposing the same solutions over and over again, while expecting different results. It has clearly been shown that maintaining the status quo only emboldens Palestinian terrorism and leads to more bloodshed.
Whether the international community recognizes it or not, Jerusalem is both the ancient and modern the capital of Israel. The Knesset, the Prime Minister’s offices and the bulk of Israeli government institutions are all located in Jerusalem. Due to the historical connection between Judaism and Jerusalem as their capital, it is unlikely that Israelis will ever be moved to change the location of their capital. Basically, having the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv was not merely only a symbolic gesture to appease those that still question Israel’s legitimacy, but also, it is just a humongous waste of gas.
We hope that this momentous decision by the Trump administration will lead bring a lasting peace in the region. It shows that America supports Israel’s legitimacy and its rights as a sovereign state, including its right to choose its own capital. Here at Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., we commend President Trump on his move. We know that whatever deal decided upon by the Israelis and Palestinians, there is one thing we know for sure – Jerusalem is and will always be the heart and capital of Israel.