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Talk about a headline I didn’t expect to read, especially coming from Newsweek:
Trump’s Jerusalem Decision May Lead to Permanent Peace in Israel
But sure enough, they just published that article.
And the article itself is even better than the headline.
Take a look, from Newsweek out this morning:
The American president, Donald Trump, has made a bold decision.By announcing that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he has not only proven himself as a reliable ally whose word can be counted on, but also a courageous leader who is not afraid to stand for what is right. This decision is right for Israel, it is right for the United States, and it has a good chance of positively influencing the possibility for peace in our region.
“Jerusalem is an inseparable part of Israel and her eternal capital. No United Nations vote can alter that historic fact.”
This quote was not said by one of our leaders in response to the shameful Security Council resolution 2334 last December. It was part of a statement by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, on December 5, 1949 only days after the UN voted for a resolution calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem.
Ben Gurion’s response was to move forward with a planned announcement about the moving of our Knesset (parliament) and other national institutions to Jerusalem.
The announcement by the Israeli government was met with condemnations from around the world. The US even went as far as to refuse to hold any diplomatic meetings in Jerusalem and they continued to send official cables to an office of our Foreign Ministry in Tel Aviv.
Palestinian Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, December 8, 2017. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers after Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty
Nevertheless, Ben Gurion’s brave decision was the right one for Israel. It made clear the idea of turning our historic capital into an international zone administered by others was a non-starter for Israel.
The decision also had long-term positive effects such as galvanizing Jews around the world with an allegiance to the holy city which had served as our capital since the days of King David.
Prime Minister Ben Gurion also put the countries of the region on notice that Israel would not shy away from making the right decisions – even in the face of international pressure.
Similarly, President Trump’s decision carries immense significance for Israel and our region.
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed President Trump to Israel last May, he did so in what he called “Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state.” By publicly affirming this vital understanding of our national being, President Trump has laid the groundwork for other countries to soon follow suit.
While some may doubt that other states will want to make such a move for fear of retribution from Arab countries, it is important to recall that many countries around the world take their cues from the US when it comes to certain aspects of their foreign policy.
This decision is also beneficial for the US interests. Israel is America’s most stable and loyal ally in the Middle East. We stand by the US at the UN, and in every other forum, on almost every question of foreign policy.
Public opinion of the US by Israelis is consistently one of the highest in the world. More importantly, Israel is an island of stability in the one of the world’s most tumultuous regions.
America knows that our democracy is strong, and our commitment to safety and security can be counted on and this in turn serves US interests in the Middle East.
Critics of US foreign policy have made the claim that over the past few years American allies have often been taken for granted while adversaries were rewarded. The nuclear agreement with Iran and past decisions to turn a blind eye to Assad’s brutal regime in Syria are just two examples of America’s opponents who have benefited from this policy.
Recognizing Jerusalem as our capital serves notice that the US respects its allies and supports them.