President-elect Donald J. Trump’s campaign addressed sensitive Middle East topics that included relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—thus recognizing it as Israel’s de facto capital. Though Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is firmly established by history and archeology, the U.S. Embassy’s relocation there has been a long-standing, yet hot-button issue.

Despite congressional support for the move and the resulting 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, presidential waivers have circumvented its implementation with every successive administration, starting with former President Bill Clinton. While the primary reason given for suspending this act is “to protect the national security interests of the United States” (Presidential Memorandum -- Suspension of Limitations under the Jerusalem Embassy Act), every excuse in the book has been given for not signing the legislation, which lands on the president's desk every six months. Until now.

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Trump vowed that the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem would be one of his first priorities upon taking office Jan. 20. After presidential hedging over the issue, and the marked chill in U.S.-Israeli relations under Obama, Israel finally will have a friend in the White House who comprehends her value to the United States and the increasingly menacing threats to her national security.


It is essential that Trump and his team move expeditiously to relocate the U.S. Embassy as one of the first items on his agenda. As a businessman with no political background, he undoubtedly will rely on the team he is now putting together, one that will include political, foreign affairs and military experts with knowledge of the Middle East, and a penchant to cut to the chase through the Gordian knot of minutia surrounding this issue. As wise King Solomon wrote,“There is safety in a multitude of counselors.”

While Trump’s move will likely provoke an uproar among Muslim states and their allies, we will soon have a president in the White House who has pledged to "make America great again." America will only be great once it sheds its paper-tiger image, which has dismayed people at home and abroad, perplexing our allies and bolstering our enemies. It is evident that Trump intends to elevate America's image by exercising strength in leadership, and thus restoring American influence overseas.

Once Trump is sworn in Jan. 20, and his advisors and cabinet are in place, it is incumbent upon him not only to fulfill his promise to the millions who voted for him, but also to demonstrate to the international community that America stands firmly with our only democratic ally in the Middle East. Without a doubt, fulfilling his campaign promise is in the best interests of both Israel and the United States. Israel is on the front lines for America, and America should be on the front lines for Israel.

In my view, Trump is a standard-bearer. I hope other nations will follow suit and move their own embassies to Jerusalem, once and for all recognizing it as the undivided capital of the sovereign nation of Israel.
 
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