Moving the embassy is entirely an American issue. It makes no difference to us. We don’t need the United States, or anyone else for that matter, to recognize our capital.
I learn in this letter that Don Trump of Washington comes this night to a decision. “He is very near by this: he was not three leagues off when I left him.” So goes a paraphrase of the opening scene to Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing”.
Much ado about nothing indeed is the best way to describe the issue of the United States relocating its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Yet, so much attention is given and has been given over the years to this matter, that it has become a joke. We in Israel are like the native children in the war zone of some far away third world country, chasing after American GI’s, waiting for them to throw candy our way.
Not since the UN vote on the Partition Plan in 1947 has so much excitement been generated over an absolutely meaningless matter. OK, so the UN vote had some significance. The moving of the American embassy is no more than a symbolic gesture. It means nothing at all.
Moving the embassy is entirely an American issue. It really makes no difference to us. We don’t need the United States, or anyone else for that matter, to recognize our right to our capital of Jerusalem. Our ancestors prayed towards it and dreamt of it before the United States named the District of Columbia as its own capital. Before America was even discovered. Heck, before Islam and Christianity even existed.
Jerusalem has been our capital and central to the Jewish people for over 3000 years. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Eternal People.
For years now, any American politician who wanted to find favor with the American Jewish community would utter the empty campaign promise that, if elected, they would move the embassy to Jerusalem. I don’t know about you, but for me it was a clear indication that a candidate was full of it.
Trump was, from the start, the anti-politician. He intends to make good on all his campaign promises. Promises he made to American voters. So for a year now, we keep hearing about it. First rumors and then actions. Or more precisely, inaction. Just like any other politician since 1995.
I keep thinking of the immortal words of the American-Jewish actor, Eli Wallach in that memorable classic Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – “When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is, as I said already, an American matter. If you want to move it, just move it. Stop talking about it and making it into such a big deal.
Besides the excitement the possibility generates, for some reason, among Jews in Israel and in the United States, the decision is making others restless. Chicken Littles (i.e. Henny Penny for non American readers) galore are running around warning us about pending doom, about how dangerous this is going to be. Everything short of the sky falling.
Of course, the greatest concern and the most dire warnings are over Arab displeasure over the decision and threats that they will riot.
Oh my god! Arabs will riot they say? Well, that’s like saying Monday comes after Sunday. It is a given. If it isn’t that, it will be something else. There is always some reason for the Arabs to riot and resort to violence. They get offended as often as you have a bad hair day.
They have been standing in line to get in a few lines and sound bites into the media. Warning that any move by the U.S. to relocate the embassy would disqualify Washington from having a role in peace negotiations. Suddenly peace negotiations are important to them.
The move “will unleash forces that cannot be contained, inflaming sentiments and generating tensions and instability throughout the region and beyond,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, said in a statement. Yes, she was actually serious and said that with such pathos.
No one, not a single leader or leading journalist, has condemn this or the calls for violence. They condone Arab violence precisely by not speaking up.
At the same time, The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last week to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem in New York. The vote was 151 in favor. One hundred and fifty one countries. Not a single Israeli threatened violence or the unleashing of forces above and beyond, or something to that effect. Because, why would we?
Besides that though, did the fact that these countries all supported such a vote have any affect on our connection to Jerusalem? Did it matter in any way? Did it diminish our 3000 year link to the city? Of course not.
Today, Jews are the sovereigns in Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years. We are the masters of our destiny. We determine what happens in Jerusalem, while the rest of the world get to play with meaningless votes at the UN.
So President Trump, do what is best for the USA. Do the right thing. Because that is what the USA stands for. It will be nice for us I admit, but it will make America Great Again.
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