The debates over U.S. foreign aid, especially to Israel, are typically intense and contentious. It’s often claimed that the United States does not get a benefit commensurate with the billions being spent. But for those of us who believe in God and his promises, stepping up on behalf of the only Jewish state on Earth is, as President Trump has said, “the right thing to do.” And the positive repercussions for the U.S. will be substantial.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, has a 4,000 year old statement from God to Abraham and his descendants which has proven throughout history to be true: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”
Well, with Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stand by for blessings.
The commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been U.S. policy since Congress passed, with overwhelming majorities, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. But a provision in the act allows a president to waive the Act’s implementation every six months. So in a metaphorical impression of the worst imaginable football team, three successive presidents punted almost forty times in a row. But, Trump has now refused to continue that capitulation.
“National security” has always been used as the overt excuse. But back in the real world, the threat of Palestinian violence is the ever-present factor which has intimidated lesser officials. But not Trump. Those who perennially threaten violence and riots or play the victim card to get their way are bullies or crybabies. Reward the behavior of either of those sorts and you always get more of the same. Standing up to them is a game changer. Riots are the adult equivalent of the infant’s temper tantrum. But, Trump is coming off as the adult in the international room.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a former adviser to U.S. Secretaries of State of both parties, Aaron David Miller, said that if Jerusalem is burning, we’ll know the region hasn't changed that much. If it's not, that could suggest a degree of exhaustion and fatigue among Palestinians. Too tired to riot? What a hopeful concept.
You can’t have peace with those who create conflict at any perceived offense. But in reality, there has rarely been an actual peace process in motion. Instead, there has consistently been a pressure process in which Israel is coerced into concessions or castigated when it doesn’t comply. Rinse, repeat.
Invoking the textbook cynical definition of insanity, Trump stated that “It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.” Of course there were those who said that Mr. Trump’s move was destabilizing and that it risked setting off violence. But, when threats of violence are always implied, the last thing that you have is stability.
President Trump’s action has already produced some amazing results. He’s united both the Left and the Right in Israel, a feat in itself. On the Right, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called the move courageous and just. A left-of-center party leader, Yair Lapid, said "if violence is the only argument against moving the embassy to Jerusalem, then it only proves it is the right thing to do." And Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president who’s in the thirteenth year of a four-year term, called the move “an unaccountable gamble,” a remarkably weak assertion.
An elected official who keeps his promises is a startling concept for a cynical and self-serving political world. Despite hair on fire cries that this disqualifies the U.S. as a peacemaker or a negotiator, on the contrary, keeping a campaign promise only enhances credibility. Would you be more inclined to deal with one who breaks his word or those who keep it? The obvious answer is the reason this move will enhance our chances to deal with the actualities of the volatile Middle East, a region where the “strong horse” is the one that commands respect.
And a final coincidence for those who question whether we should be in the middle of the effort to do the right thing for Jerusalem: please note that USA are the central three letters of that capital city.