Tomorrow, May 14, 2018, 70 years ago – on May 14, 1948 – David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, declared Israel an independent sovereign state.
It was clear to the Jewish people that Jerusalem will be their capital, the capital of the Jewish Commonwealth since King David declared Jerusalem his kingdom’s capital. After all the two Jewish Temples stood in Jerusalem and Jerusalem was the heart of the land of Israel.
After all, for 2000 years, since they were exiled form their homeland by the Roman conquerors, Jews yearned to return to Jerusalem. Each year as they set around the table to celebrate Passover, their redemption from bondage in Egypt, Jews said and wished ‘next year in Jerusalem’.
But the Arab states, surrounding the nascent Jewish state, could not accept the fact that Jews will be resuming their ancient and long overdue sovereignty in the land of Israel. They went to war with the Jews, just one day after Ben Gurion made his historic independence declaration.
The war ended with the Jews winning it but losing the old part of Jerusalem, what turned to be wrongly named ‘east Jerusalem’. So the Jews went ahead and built an adjacent brand new capital city, what turned to be temporarily named, ‘west Jerusalem.’
The ‘west Jerusalem’ city waited patiently, each day looking at the golden tops of the old city, for her other half-city to join her and thus making the Jewish nations’ heart complete.
In the meantime the Jews of Israel went ahead and placed their president and prime minister’s official residence, their parliament-Knesset building as well as all their government offices in ‘west Jerusalem’.
On June 5, 1967 at 07:45[AM] Israeli time, the Six Day War began. The war ended six days later with Israel winning it and east Jerusalem returning to Jewish hands on June 7, 1967. The west and east or Jerusalem become one gold city dwelling on the Judea Hills.
But the nations of the world would not accept Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, Israel. From its establishment in 1948 they planted all their embassies and consulates in Tel Aviv and its vicinity. That included the United States’ embassy that, for many years has been residing on Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv, with the building’s west side windows looking at the magnificent, blue Mediterranean Sea.
In 1995 the United States Congress voted to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thus giving Jerusalem the seal of approval it deserves, being the city the Jewish people elected as their capital. That vote went into law in the United States.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999, and attempted to withhold 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the State Department specifically for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” as allocated in fiscal year 1999 until the United States Embassy in Jerusalem had officially opened. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel. The proposed law was adopted by the Senate (93-5), and the House (374-37).
Though Israel’s declared capital is Jerusalem, this is not internationally recognized, pending final status talks in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The United States has withheld recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
What transpired since is that every president since 1995 promised to follow the law and move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and every six months he would get cold feet and sign a waiver, postponing the move for 6 month. Six months after six months, USA president after USA president and for many years Jerusalem was left the unrecognized capital of Israel by the United States and all other countries.
Someone had to be the first to make the right move.
Till citizen Donald Trump ran for president. He, like all his predecessors promised that if he is elected president he will be moving the USA embassy in Israel from Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv, to a location in the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.
I did not believe Mr. Trump and I am sure many other skeptics like me did not believe citizen Trump’s promise about the USA embassy moving to Jerusalem either. But we hoped and prayed.
And so, unlike all his predecessors, President Trump kept his promise. He showed leadership and respect for USA’s best ally in the Middle East (perhaps best and reliable friend the United States has) and he ordered the move of the USA embassy. With that Trump made history, recognizing 3000 years history of Jerusalem that symbolizes 3000 years of Jewish history in the land of Israel. Not only Trump showed he could be trusted with his promises, he also showed his respect for Israel. The mighty United States has mighty respect for this small country in the Middle East, Israel.
Peace cannot be built on lies. The Arabs lying about Jerusalem being theirs was finally erased. Jerusalem, the whole, is the capital of the State of Israel.
And the jubilee in Israel is hard to describe. Thousands of people, of all faiths, from around the world, who see Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but waited for that desired first official recognition seal of approval, have arrived to Israel to join in the jubilee of opening the United States embassy in Jerusalem. And Jubilee it is going to be.
The world is watching this monumental moment Israel so well deserves. Other countries will be moving their embassies to Jerusalem soon thereafter and hopefully, eventually, all the countries that have diplomatic representation in Israel will follow suit.
The Israelis simply love President Trump because, unlike other USA presidents who gave them lip service but acted toward Israel with double standard, and were proven to be somewhat fair-weather friends, Trump is sincere. President Trump has given Israel a strong tail wind; he truly has Israel’s back. President Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States is an honorable man and Israel’s genuine friend.
So here is the story of Jerusalem – the capital of Israel.
Perhaps all that is taking place in Israel and her capital, Jerusalem, these days, will begin to usher the first genuine step to achieve the so overdue peace, Israel so much desires.
Join in the Jubilee.