President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and declaration of intent to move the U.S. embassy there, is a step in the right direction. Jerusalem has been Israel’s seat of government for decades, and U.S. recognition merely acknowledges an existing reality. The fact that Israel’s enemies are bitterly condemning the move and calling for violent protests against it simply shows that they’ll use any excuse to keep the conflict alive. Fortunately, the U.S. and Israel have shown no signs of retreating from their position.


It’s understandable that Israel’s enemies would be opposed to anything that strengthens it or adds to its legitimacy, but why are some Jewish groups also against the recognition? They say it will harm the peace process, but this fear is totally unjustified. 


If anything, the move will make peace more likely. Israel is an island of stability in a sea of chaos. Anything that strengthens it or adds to its legitimacy improves the prospects of peace, and Trump’s move certainly strengthens Israel’s international legitimacy. 


Perhaps most important to realize is that the current peace process itself is basically a fraud. Even though many people in the West still see it as the “only game in town,” it’s been fatally flawed from the beginning. The Palestinians have never been sincere about peace. Their goal has always been Israel’s destruction. They’ve used the “two state solution” merely as a ploy to wring territorial concessions from Israel by dangling a false hope of peace in front of it, while retaining the option of resuming open warfare whenever the concessions stopped. 


But even if the parties could agree to a two state solution, it could still never produce peace or security for Israel. A society that defines itself as revering life cannot coexist peacefully with one that defines itself as revering death, and a society that strives to build a peaceful and positive future cannot share a common capital with one that cultivates an attitude of perpetual rage within itself. 


Israel should capitalize on Trump’s move and start backing away from the two state solution altogether. It should do nothing to encourage the two state idea and should also declare that Jerusalem will be the capital of only one state, the Jewish state, and that this is nonnegotiable.


This may infuriate Israel’s enemies, whose combined might is indeed formidable, but Israel must stand up to them, just as it stood up to the combined Arab armies when it declared its independence in 1948. Appeasement won’t work. Israel must accept the reality that there may be no peaceful solution to the conflict, and that if Jews want to live in the Promised Land, they’ll have to fight for that right, even against seemingly difficult odds. 


To be successful, they’ll need to draw on their Jewish heritage, put their trust in God, and refuse any and all attempts to divide the land. Instead of restricting settlement efforts, they should actively encourage new settlements, strengthening their hold on the land by establishing facts on the ground. 


History shows that whenever Israel has asserted its legitimate rights with confidence and determination, it has prevailed. Now is not the time to be governed by weakness and fear. Only when Israel behaves like the rightful owner of the land, and defends the land with the dedication that one would expect from the rightful owner, will the world recognize it as the rightful owner.

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