By Spencer Kellogg | ISRAEL
As the morning of December 4th arrived tensions on the east and west side of Jerusalem and back across the Atlantic in D.C. were heating up. President Trump’s campaign promise to move the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to the eternal Jewish capital city of Jerusalem signaled a deep commitment to the people of Israel and a direct rebuttal to 22 years of our weakening diplomatic tone and reach in the region. Congressional legislation passed in 1995 paved the way for the embassy’s move to Jerusalem although every president since (including Trump this summer) has deferred the opportunity in hopes of stabilizing an active war zone and promoting a two-state solution between Israel & Palestine. With another deadline looming, Trump’s decision could provoke a massive power shift and strengthen alliances between the new and old world of capitalist democracies.
During Trump’s first year in office, his son in law Jared Kushner has visited the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, of Saudi Arabia, on three separate occasions. Bin Salman is seen by many as a moderate and a modernist looking to bring Saudi Arabia and the general middle east into the 21st century. This means greater freedom for women, less restrictive speech for citizens and ultimately more power and money for his kingdom. His natural allies lie to the west in Israel, the EU & America. To his northern horizon lies a fickle enemy in the non-secularist Iran who are seen as kindly friends to the American left but described as terrorists and Nazis by our few democratic allies in the middle east. A non-aggressive and modern middle east maintained through free trade and increasing individual freedom should be the aim of every democracy lover in our country and recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel is a key step in making that a reality.
Jerusalem has long been the historical capital of Israel dating as far back as King David, the Patriarchs and the establishment of the First Temple by King Solomon in 900 BC. Conquered by Babylonians, Greeks, Crusaders, and Muslims, Jerusalem is amongst the oldest and most contested geographical sites in the history of humankind. Claimed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, the city has been known as much for its bloodstained streets as its ancient religious texts and monuments. Following countless exoduses, Israel was officially established by England as a Jewish state in 1924 and gained political independence shortly after WWII. Today, archeologists routinely dig up Jewish relics thousands of years old within the city walls of Jerusalem as the battle for their homeland and the most sacred city continues.
The spiritual, political and economic pulse of Israel all seep out from Jerusalem and their tentacles can be spotted far and wide. They have contributed immensely to modern advancements in science, medicine, technology, and art. In terms of culture and individual rights, Israel represents a distinctly parallel tone to average Americans and their admiration of Rousseau and Locke is evident throughout their governance. Their capitol is Jerusalem. Their capitol is not Tel-Aviv. Why then is our embassy in Tel-Aviv? The reason is simple: it is politically incorrect to suggest Israel is just in their pursuit of establishing a free and democratic society in their own homeland. Worse is to suggest that Prime Minister Netanyahu (a democratically elected official) is right…about anything! To suggest even a casual support of modern Israel or Saudi Arabia is to promote outright genocide in the minds of many on the American left who point to the recent events in Lebanon and Yemen as “colonialist enterprises”. On this issue the hypocrisy of the left is glaring. While they unashamedly point to the history of Native Americans as proof that our own country was stolen, they simultaneously support the Muslim Palestinians who conquered Jerusalem and took Israel from the Jews. Furthermore, they insist that Israel have no right to land that their ancestors tilled thousands of years ago and suggest that Israel share their home with a culture and people that lack ideological similarities and see the Jews as intruders.
This decision will speak volumes about the integrity of Trump’s word and the intention of his middle east policies in the following three years to come. He used the Jerusalem debate to flare the fire of nationalism both here and abroad during his campaign. His maverick speeches gained over many supporters with his promise to buck the national media and now is the time to stand behind his word and create a deep bond with our allies in democracy and freedom. Israel is a sovereign nation surrounded by theocratic dictatorships and though we should maintain a reasonable and skeptical distance militarily, we should not shy away in our ideological support of her borders, statehood, and democracy. Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel and that is where our embassy should sit!