Enough already: Move the embassy to Jerusalem
On June 5, 2017, the US Senate approved Resolution 176, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
by Bruce Portnoy
June 30, 2017
On June 5, 2017, the United States Senate approved Resolution 176, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reminded us that "there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia." This legislative initiative was preceded by the Jerusalem Embassy Act (Public Law 104-45), on November 8, 1995, which indicated that "Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel" and that the American Embassy, currently in Tel Aviv, at the will of the president of the United States, may be relocated to Jerusalem.
President Trump has followed the path of his predecessor presidents: he has chosen not to honor the intent of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, nor his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, for fear of alienating already hostile Middle Eastern nations and populations, so as to float his personal peace plan.
Lest we forget, only fifty years ago, war was forced upon our loyal Middle Eastern ally, Israel, by her neighboring nations (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq). Their clearly stated aim was to drive Israel's young and old, helpless and able-bodied, Christian, Muslim and Jew, into the sea, and then to take for themselves all that the people of Israel had labored to build in their relatively tiny state.
At the time, every nation of means turned her back on the mixed multitude of Israelis being threatened. The United Nations security force was asked to withdraw from the Sinai and did so without protest. The United States, fearing the Soviet response, hid under the covers.
Without the help of her friends, the odds of Israel's survival was minimal at best. Yet when push came to shove and with everything to lose, Jews and other people of conscience came from abroad to take a stand with their threatened brethren. Together, they helped thwart a massacre. Within hours, Israel's pre-emptive air strike neutralized Egypt's jets, while her ground forces overcame the might of more numerous opposition armies, in just six days, before a cease-and-desist action was organized.
Jerusalem became a unified city, reaffirmed as Israel's eternal capital. All faiths were subsequently guaranteed perpetual, unobstructed, and protected access to their holy sites.
Yet, every six months, since November 5, 1995, a presidential waiver to delay the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem was utilized, sidestepping the original intent of Public Law 104-45, on the grounds of unidentified national security issues.
Meanwhile, the United States has not become a more respected nation abroad, except with Israel. The Middle East is clearly less stable. The Palestinians have repeatedly capitalized on America's failure to act responsibly towards her friend, Israel, by expanding their self-serving demands. Furthermore, they have not chosen to put aside their perpetual hatred of Israel and Jews so as to concentrate on building the infrastructure necessary to support a separate state for their children.
Unrealistically, American presidents stubbornly adhere to a vague dream of peace that the Palestinian leadership does not apparently share, and a succession of American presidents has seen fit to diplomatically punish an ally, Israel, by denying her the same diplomatic status any other nation's capital currently enjoys: hosting the embassy of the United States.
With the current administration's willingness to employ cruise missiles as necessary, I am not so sure that the feared Palestinian repercussions will become a reality should the American Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israel stands alone in the Middle East, as a proud nation with shared American values, and without fear for being so. This status alone should be rewarded with the embassy move.