I’m a Jew and a Zionist, and Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel

Personally, I’m proud of my heritage and despite the antisemitism and vitriol that has now permeated the globe, we should not be timid or walk on eggshells.

By
January 1, 2018 21:51
3 minute read.
Friends of Zion thank Guatemala and United States for their embassy move.

Friends of Zion thank Guatemala and United States for their embassy move.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

When US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that his administration would begin efforts to move the US embassy there, what followed was a hypocritical attack by many world leaders who seem to believe that unlike their own nations, Israel has no right to designate where to put its capital.

I’m not quite sure why this has caused such a controversy. It’s not an issue of Right or Left, it was just the right move to make. The current US administration has made clear it is not changing long-standing policy nor is it taking any position on final-status issues, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The president only stated the obvious, that Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of Israel. This proclamation wasn’t invented out of thin air, nor did a lack of precedent exist to make this official announcement.

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Here are the facts: in 1995, a bipartisan US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and required the US to move the embassy to Jerusalem by 1999. While it did give the president the opportunity to sign a waiver every six months delaying that move if it impacted the national security of the United States, the current administration deemed this not to be the case.

While President Trump did once again sign the waiver, there’s no doubt that in the US the winds have shifted in favor of this move, judging by the fact that the White House has finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and formally stated that work would begin immediately to plan the embassy move.

Here’s the reality: In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama called Jerusalem the capital of Israel. In 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush stated that as soon as he was elected, he would begin the process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and in 1993, former president Bill Clinton made clear that he supported, at least in principle, a move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. The current administration is finally succumbing to the will of Congress and implementing a law that was passed over 20 years ago. The US is standing strong in support of its friend and ally, Israel, by stating a fact: Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of the State of Israel.

But as of late the backlash to this announcement and the bias on the world stage, especially in the United Nations, against Israel is a sobering reminder of the antisemitism that still exists throughout the globe. The subtle and not-so-subtle innuendos clearly remind us that when it comes to Israel the world still expects us to apologize for being Jews and Zionists, as if it some sort of negative connotation exists.

Personally, I’m proud of my heritage and despite the antisemitism and vitriol that has now permeated the globe, we should not be timid or walk on eggshells. The Jews are a valiant people who make up less than 0.2% of the world’s population, our history is riddled with systematic persecution, yet we have persevered. The Jewish people have been to the gates of hell, yet we have survived and thrived.

Once again, it seems history is attempting to repeat itself. We can not allow it to do so. While the evil forces in the world are making threats and attempting to destroy Israel and the Jewish people, the UN doesn’t help by continuing to propagate and warp the truth, feeding into this antisemitism.

They can certainly come after us, they can try to frighten and terrorize us, but unlike the past, we will not fear, we will not be timid, we cannot run away. If the ardent antisemites choose to attack our people, we will rise up and defend ourselves.

No other option exists when our very existence is at stake.

I am a proud Jew. I am a proud Zionist and Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel and of the Jewish people. No apologies will be forthcoming.

The author is a political commentator, PR professional and a member of the POLITICO Caucus team.


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