President Trump’s Bold Decision

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On December 6, just before Hanukkah, the holiday commemorating the Jewish rededication of the first temple, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision was shocking to all as it reversed the trend of nearly seven decades of US-Israel relations (NY Times). “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” the president said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done” (Jerusalem Post).

While to many Israeli citizens the statement seems like a reiteration of the obvious as all the administrative buildings including the Knesset (parliament), the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s Residence, and bureaucracies of Israel can be found in Jerusalem, President Trump’s acceptance of the situation has been hailed as “courageous and just” according to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister further said that “this decision reflects the president’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth. The president’s decision is an important step toward peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” (Fox).

At the same time however, a wave of worldwide criticism struck President Trump’s bold decision, with the Palestinian President, Mahmood Abbas, warning of the “gravity of consequences” should the move become official for “the peace process and security and stability in the region and world” (Fox). Besides Abbas, worldwide critics including Pope Francis, the EU, the UN, and China all condemned Trump for this act as they believed that it may release a “wave of violence in the region” (NY Times).

Despite the outrage however, this surprising decision is, in effect, fairly unsurprising. Since the Presidency of Bill Clinton, Congress had made the decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, however due to “security concerns” presidents from the time of Bill Clinton all the way until now have signed a national security waiver every six months, stating that it is unsafe to move the embassy at this time. Even more surprising is that Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all ran on the campaign promises of moving the embassy, however, while in office, did not do it. President Trump, too, ran on this campaign promise but unlike his predecessors took action and fulfilled his promise.

In spite of all the dire warnings against the wave of violence that was expected to arise, no protests of such magnitude emerged. Although there were certainly some violent clashes, with Palestinian protesters rolling burning tires and throwing rocks at IDF soldiers (CNN).

Jerusalem, ever since the time of King David thousands of years ago, has served as the capital of Israel, which in Jewish belief is where G-d is to maintain His presence there forever. Every day millions of Jews worldwide face towards the Holy Temple that once stood in Jerusalem and pray for their own security and the security of Jerusalem. Thanks to President Trump’s decision, Jews worldwide can rest assured that Jerusalem will be protected and remain the capital of the Jewish state of Israel backed by its American allies.

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