Several things influenced Trump’s decision on the “Jerusalem Embassy Act”, and while conditions may have finally come together, one crucial factor made the difference.
The recognition by President Donald Trump and the American Administration of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, is no more than an act of granting legitimacy to what has been fact for 70 years.
The decision is, in its essence, similar in meaning to the historical Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the November 29, 1947 UN Partition Plan Resolution (that never really came into effect because the Arabs had rejected it), which allowed the Jewish People to take full advantage of the legitimacy for the purpose of the establishment of a state.
This act of providing legitimacy is of major significance. How major? All one has to do is observe the outcry and calamity calls on the part of the Arabs and their collaborators to understand how significant the decision is.
In October 1995, the Congress of the United States passed the “Jerusalem Embassy Act” by overwhelming majority. The proposed law was adopted by the Senate 93 to 5, and the House 374 to 37. According to the decision, the Statement of the Policy of the United States proposed that:
- Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;
- Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel;
- The United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.
Yet despite this having been the law, presidents of the United States for the past 22 years have rejected implementation of the act. Citing that the provisions of the Embassy Relocation Act inveighed exclusive presidential authorities in the field of foreign affairs and are unconstitutional, every six months the presidents have consistently claimed the presidential waiver, based on “national security interests.” President Donald Trump signed the waiver in June 2017 as well.
So what happened now? What changed and brought President Trump to finally endorse the decision recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Some big changes apparently:
First, Trump does not like to break promises, unlike the politicians before him. He has made a point of his intention to fulfill campaign promises. Regardless of his mannerisms, which not everyone likes, Trump is indeed a man of his word.
Second, the Arab world is in decline, some will even say in total collapse. With a religious war being waged between Muslim sects poised one against the other and a huge drop in oil prices, the Arabs are dependent on the United States in their war against Iran, while the US is no longer dependent on their oil, due to the development of technology to extract oil and produce gas from oil shale.
Third, Israel is today the only stable place in the Middle East, and where the information revolution has turned us into a superpower. In other words, the entire political balance of power in the Middle East has shifted, has turned up side down and is now reversed. President Trump, as a keen businessman, realizes the Israel’s stock and position has risen greatly while the Arab stock is very much in decline.
Finally, and this is perhaps the main reason, the Christian friends of Israel in the United States. The Evangelical communities number tens of millions of friends of Israel and they share the theological belief that until all the Jews return to all of the Land of Israel, the Messiah will not arrive. And every Christian supporter of Israel knows how to recite the verse that God says to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”.
When President Trump waved the transfer of the embassy six months ago, he received a letter from more than 60 Christian leaders, representing of millions of Christian voters, who insisted he accept the Congressional act. This is no small matter, as the United States is entering an election year for the House of Representatives, and the Republicans are desperately dependent on the Evangelical bloc. At this juncture the president’s room for maneuverability with his core supporters is very limited.
This is the culmination of an extraordinary partnership between Israel and the Christian supporters of Israel. We are now reaping the fruits of this friendship at an excellent time, because Trump’s aspiration to achieve the “ultimate deal” of peace in the Middle East is dangerous for Israel. The Jerusalem Act will provide a perfect excuse for the so called “Palestinian” Arabs to not agree to any concessions and by doing so, saving us from the creation of some kind of Palestinian state.
The people of Israel have preserved a vibrant relationship with Jerusalem throughout the generations, and now Jerusalem will preserve the people of Israel and the Land of Israel from the “ultimate deal.”
The writer is a political commentator, and heads the Information Division of the Samaria Regional Council
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