Every six months it is required that the President of the United States sign a waiver delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv (where the Embassy is now) to Jerusalem in order to not abide by the law set in place by The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. This law was passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed to initiate funding for the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999. So now every six months a President signs a waiver to delay the law, until today. Today President Trump announced that he will abide by the law and have Jerusalem become the new home to the U.S. Embassy, which fulfills another campaign promise. Today the President also declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish State.
What does all this mean?
The Jewish people are gridlocked in a conflict with their Palestinian Arab neighbors. Yes, there is drama over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the REAL FIGHT is over Jerusalem. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital. Both want to claim hold of the Temple Mount in the Old City. This has been a holy site for thousands and thousands of years for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. To the Jewish and Christian faiths -multiple temples once resided on the Temple Mount, one of which that was built by King Solomon the son of King David. The Jewish and Christian faith consider this place to be the holiest site to their faiths. To the Muslim faith there are three monumental structures on the Temple Mount and consider the Temple Mount to be the third holiest site-it is also said to be where the Prophet Mohammed journeyed to Jerusalem and ascended into heaven. Today, East Jerusalem is now considered Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem though.
The history goes all the way back to Issac and Ishmael. Abraham was married to Sarah. But Abraham slept with his maid servant Hagar and she conceived a son- Ishmael (descendants of Arab people). God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child. Sarah was ninety years old and Abraham 100 yrs old, when Sarah gave birth to Issac (descendants of Jewish people.) If Abraham would have never slept with Hagar, this drama would have never started- but that’s for another story.
Okay….so that’s the background and why there is and has always been conflict. Muslim (descendants of Abraham and Hagar) believe Jerusalem is theirs, and the Jewish people (descendants of Abraham and Sarah) believe Jerusalem is theirs.
Today the President stated that “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other nation, to determine its own capital.” This moment is a defining moment because it FINALLY Defines. Jerusalem has NEVER been fully addressed by a U.S. President as the capital of Israel till today! Palestinians were hoping for a Palestinian State that would have Jerusalem as the capital some day. This decision makes a decision. It states Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It can be seen as controversial BUT The Palestinian Israeli conflict HAS ALWAYS BEEN controversial! We have NOT seen Peace. What this does is call for the REAL talks to now take place among the Palestinians and the Jewish people of Israel.
As far as the Embassy is concerned- to be totally CLEAR, the United States has EVERY RIGHT to PUT their EMBASSY WHEREVER they want to. To put the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem secures the area with U.S. presence. It also sets up for negotiations to become a REAL reality. Kicking the can down the road has done NOTHING. U.S. presence in Jerusalem is calling out the fight and addressing it. It’s essentially addressing the Elephant in the room. To anyone arguing that this move unravels years of peace….I would argue what we have been doing HAS NOT provided PEACE. Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result is insanity! With Trump at the helm, we are now enacting a law that should have been enacted years ago and we are finally doing something different, with the hopes for REAL SUBSTANTIAL change.