There are reports that President Trump will announce that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital, and that the American Embassy will be moved there. The announcement could come as soon as December 8, one day before this article is published.
The embassy move was decided long ago, but for political reasons it has been repeatedly delayed.
On November 8, 1995, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed into law. It recognized that any sovereign nation should be able to designate the city of its choice to be its capital, and that since 1950, Jerusalem has been its de facto capital.
The Act stated the fact that Jerusalem was the “seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions” and that “this year (1995) marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected”.
In 1990, Senate Concurrent Resolution 106 declared that the Congress “strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected”. In 1992, the US Congress “unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 113…to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reaffirming congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.”
The Act also stated that “In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry”.
Among other things, the Act stated that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected,” that ” Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel”, and that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.”
Many don’t know that Israel actually designated Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but conflict with the Palestinians has made most countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, every President since 1995 has signed six-month waivers of the law every six months, including President Trump, but hopefully this will change very soon.
Of course, there has been an outcry by the Left, Muslims, and the Palestinians. Al Jazeera falsely stated that even the United States did not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Obama administration was staunchly anti-Israel, and did little to support Israel.
But facts are troublesome things. The land that was included in God’s covenant extends far beyond Israel’s current borders, but in no case does scripture tell us that Jerusalem must be divided. There is no question that the whole of Jerusalem rightly belongs to Israel, and it has been by Israel’s deference to the Palestinians that they have shared it with them.
This does not mean that Israel should continue not to claim Jerusalem as its capital, and we all know why the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 has been rolled back every six months since it was enacted. The threat of war coming from the Palestinians and the whole of Islam is real, just as real as if Israel were to remove the Dome of the Rock from the Temple Mount.
If Trump fulfills his promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it will not be done lightly, nor will it be done simply to keep a campaign promise. As one left-leaning writer put it, “…there has been growing pressure on Trump to fulfill his promise since then, particularly from pro-Israel Christian evangelical groups. If Trump does indeed make this announcement this next week, it can be taken as another sign of the Christian right’s growing influence over United States-Israel policy.”
Trump has already signed the waiver once, but has expressed his desire to give the peace process a chance to work. It is unlikely that Trump actually believes that a lasting deal can ever be made with the Palestinians, and that no deal made can ever prohibit the embassy move. As David Friedman, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel said, “The embassy will move. It’s not if, but when. And I am convinced that during his term, the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the undivided and eternal capital of the state of Israel.”
As for the practical aspect of building a new embassy, there will be few places on earth that will be more dangerous during or after its construction. The Palestinians and other Islamists will make a concerted effort to stop it.
Even during the previous administration’s animosity towards Israel, Israel has had no greater friend and advocate than the American people. The American people will support the construction of the new embassy in Jerusalem without delay.