Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Trump Elevates Jerusalem in Historic Move

In a stunning move, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and began the process of moving the US Embassy to the city. 
May G*d bless President Trump.  

President Donald Trump displays the signed "Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem," on December 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Image source: White House video screenshot)

Why Trump is Right - Alan Dershowitz 

Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy. If the United States were to give in to threats of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan.

So let's praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency.
[Gatestone Institute]

Jewish Groups Welcome Recognition of Jerusalem 

Mainstream Jewish groups welcomed President Trump's announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said, "When you do the right thing, you do not have to ask questions, you just do it."

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said, "Today's action by @POTUS is an important, historic step for which we are grateful."

The Anti-Defamation League called the step "important and long overdue."

The American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, and the Jewish Federations of North America also welcomed the president's announcement without reservations.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said that with his announcement, Trump "will right a historic wrong." 

In Congress, Robust Backing for Trump's Jerusalem Move 

U.S. lawmakers across the political spectrum reacted positively to President Donald Trump's announcement Wednesday that he is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In the Arab World, the Rallying Cry of Jerusalem May Have Lost Its Force 
- Anne Barnard

For decades, the idea of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital served as a powerful rallying cry that united the Arab world. In officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, President Trump struck what many considered the death blow to those aspirations.

But as Arab and Muslim leaders raised their voices to condemn the move, many across the Middle East wondered if so much had changed in recent years that the real Arab response would amount to little more than a whimper

"'Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine' joins 'Palestinian refugees are going back home one day' in the let's-hope-it-will-happen-but-it-never-will department," wrote Mustapha Hamoui, a Lebanese blogger.

While Arab leaders have continued to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, it has slipped in importance, displaced by the Arab Spring uprisings, the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the threat of the Islamic State, and the contest between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance. 
(New York Times)

Palestinian Rage Won't Turn Into a Third Intifada - Muhammad Shehada

President Trump's speech giving America's blessing to Jerusalem as Israel's capital is widely touted as the spark that will provoke a mass popular uprising among Palestinians. 

The truth is that likelihood is at an all-time low. With a growing sense of abandonment by the international community and Arab regimes, Palestinians are seeing their cause fade away and a grassroots explosion is not in the cards

Any desire for an uprising is currently muffled by official and popular pressure to continue the Palestinian reconciliation process undisturbed. Palestinian rage over this move by Trump will dissipate, and it won't take that long. 


Trumps Great and Ingenious Gifts - Caroline Glick 

Trump’s move wasn’t merely strategically brilliant. It was a political masterstroke.

Consider the liberal Union for Reform Judaism’s contradictory responses to his recognition of Jerusalem. In the lead-up to Trump’s declaration, URJ President Rick Jacobs condemned Trump’s anticipated move which he claimed would harm chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jacobs’s statement – which was supported by key groups within the Reform movement – effectively divorced Reform Judaism from Zionism. By giving the PLO a veto over Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Jacobs said that the Reform movement thinks PLO claims to Jerusalem are stronger than Jewish claims. This self-evidently anti-Zionist position apparently didn’t go down well with the Reform rank and file. Because less than 24 hours after Trump gave his speech, the URJ issued a new statement praising Trump’s move.

And the URJ leaders aren’t the only ones with egg on their face.

Trump risked political support in the opinion polls by deepening US support for Israel in the face of strident opposition from the Democrats, the State Department, the media, the Europeans and the Arabs because he believed it was the right thing to do.  And as it works out, it was also an astute, if incredibly gutsy political move.

By standing up to the Democrats who just months ago called for him to take the very actions he took, but now opposed them because it was Trump adopting them, Trump exposed the likes of Booker and Feinstein as hypocritical opportunists. At the same time, he took ownership of a policy of supporting Israel that enjoys broad and deep public support.

[B]y recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump made clear that US support for Israel is not conditioned on anything. Israel, the Jewish state, is supported by the US because it deserves US support as an allied democracy.

Trump strengthened himself against his political opponents by taking ownership of a deeply popular foreign policy position. He took control of US foreign policy from a State Department that opposes his policies. He made reality, rather than the defiance of reality, the foundation of US Middle East policy.

He put US allies and enemies on notice that he is calling the shots in US foreign policy. And he took a large step toward restoring US credibility as a superpower.

Oh, and he accomplished all of these things without spending a dime.

For his gift to Israel, Trump now enters the pantheon of Israel’s friends in the annals of Jewish history.

For his gifts to America he has taken his place among the most astute American statesmen.

And for his political and economic mastery, he enters the ranks of the geniuses of American political history. 

[Jerusalem Post via JWR]

Trump's Truth-Telling on Jerusalem - John Podhoretz

Trump could have just signed the waiver of the law passed in 1995 compelling the executive branch to move America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He did it six months ago, just like his three immediate predecessors did every six months since 1996. Instead, he called the international community's seven-decade bluff and ended a delusion about the future that has prevented Palestinians from seeing the world and their own geopolitical situation clearly.  

The Palestinians continue to act as though they will get what they want through rejection and resistance and rage. The Palestinian refusal to accept Israel has been the greatest bar to peace. 
(New York Post)

  • Appeasing those who threaten violence doesn't reduce it. It encourages it. The more concessions are offered, the more the Palestinians believe even greater violence will deliver them final victory. Britain, France and Germany have obligingly once again genuflected to the men of violence by disapproving of Trump's speech. If they had said they, too, would now recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the threat of violence would lose much of its point.
  • The Arab war against Israel is not a conflict about the division of land. It is a war of extermination based on a refusal to accept that the Jews have any right to that land. And Jerusalem is central to that refusal. They deny the Jews any rights to Jerusalem at all. That's because they need to suppress what they can never admit: that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jews' ancient kingdom which preceded Islam and the Arab and Muslim conquest by many centuries.
  • Far from the Israeli presence there being illegal, the Jews are the only people who are entitled to the city as a matter of international law, historical truth and natural justice. Which is why the refusal by Western countries to recognize the unique Jewish right to Jerusalem has been so malevolent.
  • Those who say Trump's move makes peace less likely couldn't be more wrong. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is the essential step without which peace can never be achieved.

    The writer is a columnist for The Times (UK).
(Jerusalem Post)


Trump's Recognition: What Does It Mean?  - Daniel Pipes, PhD 

As a specialist on the Middle East, I hate to admit it, but this step results from fresh faces breaking with a stale past.

The move sends exactly the right message to the Palestinians: your continued attempt to eliminate the Jewish state of Israel will cost you.

Trump's December 2017 moving the embassy neatly checks and refutes Obama's December 2016 abstaining from U.N. Security Council resolution 2334.

Denunciations of the move came in fast and hard from the pope, the UN Secretary-General, European leaders, Ankara and Tehran, Islamists, the Left, and Palestinians. Strikingly, however, Arab states were largely mum, for they have much higher priorities to contend with.

Good for Trump ignoring threats of the Arab street rising up; the riot veto must not be allowed to determine policy.
[BESA Center]

Why the Fuss about Jerusalem as Israel's Capital? - Marc D. Angel

The Muslim Ottoman Empire, which controlled the Land of Israel for hundreds of years, could very easily have established a Muslim country there with Jerusalem as its capital city. The thought never occurred to them. Jerusalem was an old, decrepit city that no one (except Jews) cared very much about

There was no call for a Palestinian state, and no claim that Jerusalem should be the capital of a Muslim country. Between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan controlled the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, it did not cede one inch of territory to Palestinian Arab rule and did not declare Jerusalem the capital city of the Palestinians.
The writer is founder and director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals and rabbi emeritus of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City. 
(Jerusalem Post)
President Trump's choice to recognize the Israeli capital in Jerusalem exposed a political dynamic in the region that holds new possibilities for an eventual settlement. Arab countries, historically a guarantor of strategic depth for Palestinian rejectionist forces, are increasingly a bastion of support for compromise.
The true political departure lay within the Arab region, in the relatively modest and short-lived protests from Sunni-majority Arab countries. This weak showing matters greatly to prospects for peace. Now Arab societies have given their leaders and the world a preview of how minimally the region would convulse in the event of a future renunciation of Palestinian maximalist demands.
Arab supporters of a regional peace, myself included, will continue to act on the belief that Arab conciliation begets Israeli conciliation. With this principle in mind, we see the outcome of the Jerusalem controversy as a sign that more is possible.
The writer, a Moroccan publisher, is on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council and an international counselor of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
(National Interest)

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