A Particularly Happy Anniversary
Stand for Israel | May 15, 2019
esterday, the people of Israel celebrated one year since their great friends in the United States moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital. JNS’ Ruthie Blum writes that the move has been a loud and clear message of change to Israel’s allies and enemies alike:
Although the move could be viewed as merely the fulfillment of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which also recognized Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, it was received by supporters and opponents alike with amazement.
In the first place, three previous administrations—those of U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—had opted to invoke and repeatedly renew the law’s six-month waiver of application on “national security” grounds.
In June 2017, a few months after he assumed office, U.S. President Donald Trump also signed a six-month waiver, which he renewed after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. In February 2018, however, he announced that the embassy, finally, would be moved.
That he kept this promise was shocking in and of itself, particularly to Israelis, who had grown accustomed to eight long years of a hostile Obama White House.
Secondly, the timing of the embassy inauguration ceremony, which coincided with Israel’s 70th birthday, was of great significance. It was the Trump administration’s way of illustrating its unapologetic pro-Israel stance.
Third, the event was unique in the sense that it was undertaken without fear of world warnings about constituting an “obstacle to peace” or of threats of violence from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza. Trump, the new sheriff in town, was conveying a loud and clear message that a seismic shift had hit the Middle East. Enemies of freedom and democracy be damned…