Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a dramatic fulfillment of his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” For nearly seventy years, American politicians of both political stripes have not taken a stand, saying that this should be determined through peace negotiations. Though many politicians have said our foreign policy should properly reflect Jerusalem as the capital city, the incredible sensitivity about this piece of real estate has suffocated any attempts to do so.
It is complicated.
Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, since the “Old City” has the third-holiest mosque in Islam. However, East Jerusalem also has the holiest site in Judaism. Though Trump would not take a position on other controversies, he says the United States Embassy will move from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, a process that will take years. However, Trump, defying seven decades’ worth of political inertia, is simply telling the truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since ancient times.
Cue the international outrage.
Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian Hamas leader, says this “breaks red lines” and says the decision may ignite “igniting the spark of rage against the occupation.” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned there would be “dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and the world.” If you were planning on vacation in Israel, you should unpack your bags, since the U.S. Consulate says the Palestinians are calling for “three days of rage.”
Author Joel Rosenberg, has written extensively about Israeli politics, says there’s more to this moment than simply politics.
“Never has there been a more urgent moment for the church to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem than right now. I say this as an evangelical. I say this as now an Israeli citizen and a Jerusalem resident,” he told CBN News. “These issues are explosive. So how the church handles it, how we speak about it, how we act toward people we disagree with and how we pray: these things matter.”
Agreed. But it also matters that the American government is finally speaking the truth. The Israeli ministries, Prime Minister, and Supreme Court are all already located in Jerusalem. Americans are glad that the President of the United States is stepping out of the swamp to make it official. This is a bold, brave, conservative move Presidents have been promising for a long time.
What a shock to the world to see an American President actually keeping his promises. The left will go crazy, but it is a historic change that is a long time coming.
Image Credit: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons