Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: Now What?

 

The many opinions on Ricochet about Trump’s announcement to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have been exasperating, delightful, and insightful. As in many of these discussions, a major change like this bodes danger, disaster, and mayhem. I felt compelled to create some perspective on the situation, as hourly the concerns and positions shift. I explain my thoughts on the effect of Trump’s action in seven points. See what you think

1. There never was a legitimate peace process. The Jews always had a presence in Israel, in spite of the Diaspora. Then in the 19th century, Jewish immigration began to increase; the Arabs in the region resented them and repeatedly attacked them, especially from the 1920s onward. The Arabs made sure that everyone knew they were not interested in negotiating anything and that their only intention was to destroy the Jews. There is nothing that any Arab or so-called Palestinian has said to change those facts in recent years. I see no reason these circumstances will change in the future.

Conclusion: Israel needs to pursue a one-state solution that will deal with the Palestinian people in a fair and just way (whether or not they agree with it). From the PA’s corrupt and inept governance over the years, we see they are not capable of structuring or managing their own country; they will only maintain their goal of destroying Israel.

2. The Palestinian Authority will continue to fund terrorists and their families. Although President Trump has threatened to cut off funds to the PA if it continues to fund terrorism and refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, they will continue on their same path. Why would they stop? If Trump is serious, he will need to set a deadline for Palestinian compliance; otherwise, the Arabs will agree to his terms, and as soon as the money starts to roll in, continue as they always have. It’s time to stop the milk train.

Conclusion: If we discontinue the funding, we can hope the Palestinian people may finally realize that if they blow themselves up, their only reward may be in heaven (and not from the US government).

3. Now that Trump has taken this step, more countries will begin to support his position. In one sense, the recognition issue is absurd: Jerusalem has always been Israel’s capital, but no one had the courage to acknowledge it. Those countries that have not been overridden by Arab or Islamic populations will probably come on board first since there will be less chance of internal violence. Countries with large Islamic populations will be forced to acknowledge that Islam is not a religion of peace and become more assertive about not accommodating those who are prepared to attack their citizens.

Conclusion: Europe and other Islamic-dominated countries will begin to restrict immigration and initiate programs to integrate those people who accept living in their new countries.

4. On the other hand, European countries may resist joining forces with the US. Not because of their Islamic populations but due to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments.

Conclusion: Identify a strategy for reshaping the news media in a way that demonstrates the successes of these changes in immigration policies and integrating immigrant populations.

5. Arab and Islamic countries will protest loudly, but for a number of reasons they will not take action against the U.S. or Israel. (A) They have their own problems to deal with internally regarding terrorism; (B) Saudi Arabia has created a coalition to fight terrorism and has not excluded any country or heritage from qualifying for the coalition’s protection; (C) Saudi Arabia has also been engaging quietly with Israel to develop strategies against their mutual enemy, Iran — to threaten that growing relationship at this stage would be self-destructive; (D) Other Middle Eastern countries are taking strategic direction from the Saudis and will likely follow their lead, even if they’re quiet about it.

Conclusion: Assuming that Saudi Arabia continues in its current direction, promote their efforts to fight terrorism and build new relationships.

6. As described in The Federalist, much of the violence in Israel, if it occurs, will come from the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah:

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has threatened the United States and Israel with repercussions. Hamas is calling for another Intifada. A number of the usual suspects, including several totalitarian states that ban Jews from their countries, have “warned” the United States that such a move would cross a “red line.” (Here’s a little secret; most of these governments are posturing and couldn’t care less where the U.S. embassy is.)

I’m not sure whom Abbas is threatening with the proverbial red line, but Israel will be ready for him and his terrorist cohorts. Meanwhile, you can read about the “spontaneous” Palestinian protests here.

Conclusion: Publicly support any efforts that Israel must take to protect its people and its borders. Condemn every terrorist action taken and apply sanctions when they occur.

7. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks criticizes the world’s attitude toward the Jews’ relationship with Jerusalem:

The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognise the Jewish people’s right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam.

Since then, though dispersed around the world, Jews never ceased to pray about Jerusalem, face Jerusalem, speak the language of Jerusalem, remember it at every wedding they celebrated, in every home they built, and at the high and holiest moments of the Jewish year.

Conclusion: Creative ways to change the media narrative to be more balanced must be identified. Europe and other nations that begin to support Israel must be lauded for their courage in speaking the truth and for taking steps to discourage terrorism.

Finally, the same Federalist article makes an excellent point:

Many of the same people who lecture us to stand up to the authoritarianism in Russia or China argue that we should cave to threats of groups that subsidize jihadists and undermine American interests. Why do Booker, Feinstein, or the experts at the Brookings Institution believe that Hamas or Qatar should dictate where the United States puts its embassy? Yes, the move will generate widespread hand-wringing in the world, and there is a good possibility that there will be a new round of self-destructive violence among Palestinians. But if Arabs are willing to embrace extremism and violence because the United States no longer supports a delusion, perhaps the problem isn’t Israel?

Then again, though the chance of any real peace with the Palestinians is slim, maybe reality will start to set in.

Trump’s announcement, along with other steps that have been taken in the past year, has created cracks in the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian narrative. We must capitalize on that tiny inroad and, as we restore our role as a world leader, must bring the rest of the world with us.

There are 23 comments.

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  1. Guruforhire Member

    Trump should move the US embassy in Germany from Berlin to Bonn and the US Embassy in France to Berlin.

    • #1
    • December 8, 2017, at 7:45 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Danny Alexander Inactive

    Agreed, I guess, but in any event, as David Ben-Gurion apparently put it, “It doesn’t matter what the gentiles say — it matters what we (the Jews) do.”

    What is incumbent upon Israel now is to make as clear a determination as possible how far south it can (or conversely, how far north it must) detonate one or more nuclear devices inside Lebanon’s borders without causing any serious fallout or similar blowback-type problems for Israel itself (including the defensibility of the border with Lebanon).

    I say this because war with Hizballah is coming: It’s perhaps difficult to say whether Hizballah would really attempt a ground-troops incursion (as has been feared), but there’s no doubt that the Iranian proxy would try to unleash barrage after barrage of missiles (not merely rockets, missiles) all over Israel, some of them potentially tipped with chem-bio agents; to date, Israel has warned that if anything remotely like all this commences, Israel might be forced to bomb Lebanon back into the proverbial Stone Ages, although I don’t think these admonitions have specified what kind of bombs might be employed — my view is that Israel would probably be extremely hard-pressed not to use at least one nuclear one.

    On the rhetorical plane, President Trump has made a supremely magnanimous gesture not only on behalf of the Jewish State but also to the benefit of the Arab world (at least, those parts not in league with Iran) — and on that same plane, for the immediate time and near future, there’s not a lot Israel could add to that, nor should it expend much focus or resources on trying to.

    Rather, Israel for now will have to gird itself for yet another excruciating trial on the pragmatic plane of action — namely, mobilizing the nation for preparedness against the impending threat to its security, and then preserving that security with extreme prejudice the moment Hassan Nasrallah’s orcs receive their signal from the Sauron-made-real in Tehran.

    • #2
    • December 8, 2017, at 8:06 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan: Great post. I think that I agree 100%.

    I have one minor historical correction, which isn’t to what you wrote, but to what Rabbi Sacks wrote:

    Susan Quinn

    7. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks criticizes the world’s attitude toward the Jews’ relationship with Jerusalem:

    The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognise the Jewish people’s right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam.

    It should be one-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam. The Jews took Jerusalem in about 1000 BC. Islam was born about 1600 years later, in the early 600s AD.

    • #3
    • December 8, 2017, at 8:17 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Susan Quinn:4. On the other hand, European countries may resist joining forces with the US. Not because of their Islamic populations but due to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments.

    Conclusion: Identify a strategy for reshaping the news media in a way that demonstrates the successes of these changes in immigration policies and integrating immigrant populations.

    I believe the greatest challenge on this front is the legitimacy and political cover provided for anti-Israel forces by the UN. With the exception of the Obama Administration, the White House has been trying to crack that nut for decades with limited success. (I say the White House because I don’t know enough to say whether Foggy Bottom is helping or hindering those efforts. If forced to guess I’d say both.) Are there any fresh ideas regarding what to do about it?

    • #4
    • December 8, 2017, at 8:32 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. MarciN Member

    I am so pleased with Trump’s decision and announcement to build and maintain our embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, where it should be.

    I think what is being overlooked by the press and political commentators is that Israel has done a heroic job of applying its collective intelligence, humanity, and commitment to peace and democracy and freedom to improving life for everyone in the Middle East.

    The political situation is a thousand times better today than it was in the 1990s. It is a testament to Israel’s intelligence and commitment to peace that have brought about the tremendous gains in that region that we are seeing today.

    • #5
    • December 8, 2017, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Susan Quinn: 2. The Palestinian Authority will continue to fund terrorists and their families. Although President Trump has threatened to cut off funds to the PA if it continues to fund terrorism and refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, they will continue on their same path. Why would they stop?

    The EU believes that immigrants from Africa and the Muslim world will save its pension and welfare systems and has bet its demographic future on those immigrants. The rest is just the eggs that have to be broken; and the EU will continue to double down and funding the PA and Hamas. Under the status quo, with the OIC as the largest UN bloc, the UN will continue to fund terrorism.

    It’s high time the US stopped putting its money where the OIC’s mouth is.

    • #6
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:00 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Danny Alexander (View Comment):
    Rather, Israel for now will have to gird itself for yet another excruciating trial on the pragmatic plane of action — namely, mobilizing the nation for preparedness against the impending threat to its security, and then preserving that security with extreme prejudice the moment Hassan Nasrallah’s orcs receive their signal from the Sauron-made-real in Tehran.

    No matter how we look at it, it’s ugly. And I see no options. People don’t realize what it is like to live in a war zone. At some point, there needs to be resolve coupled with resolution. Thanks, Danny.

    • #7
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. I Walton Member

    Now if we could get the world to stop funding the Palestinians.

    • #8
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:06 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Petty Boozswha Inactive

    My disagreements with Trump are well known, but I will give credit where credit is due. This was a good move for a reason I’ve not seen noted in the press or commentary – until now tactics of stall, delay and obfuscate have always benefited the bad guys, now Trump is showing the PLO and their minions that there is a cost for not moving towards peace. The days of five star hotels and first class travel while pursuing the “peace process” is not going to be an unending way of life.

    • #9
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:09 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Petty B (View Comment):
    My disagreements with Trump are well known, but I will give credit where credit is due. This was a good move for a reason I’ve not seen noted in the press or commentary – until now tactics of stall, delay and obfuscate have always benefited the bad guys, now Trump is showing the PLO and their minions that there is a cost for not moving towards peace. The days of five star hotels and first class travel while pursuing the “peace process” is not going to be an unending way of life.

    I hope that’s a deliberate message which will be supported by additional policy moves. Stability demands that there be a sovereign and secure Israel with well-defined borders. The details of that are open to debate and negotiation, but our clear message should be that we’re going to solve this problem with or without Palestinian approval. I’d prefer with, but we can’t let their obstructionism stop us.

    • #10
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:21 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):
    It should be one-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam. The Jews took Jerusalem in about 1000 BC. Islam was born about 1600 years later, in the early 600s AD.

    Thanks, Patriot. I suspect he was referring to Abraham and the promise of multitudes and what would become Israel. Essentially, if we don’t get caught up in time periods, G-d has promised all that has transpired, is happening, and will transpire in the future. That’s my guess anyway.

    • #11
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:40 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    I believe the greatest challenge on this front is the legitimacy and political cover provided for anti-Israel forces by the UN. With the exception of the Obama Administration, the White House has been trying to crack that nut for decades with limited success. (I say the White House because I don’t know enough to say whether Foggy Bottom is helping or hindering those efforts. If forced to guess I’d say both.) Are there any fresh ideas regarding what to do about it?

    Nickie Haley is certainly trying to chip away at those forces. She has repeatedly called them to task. There is supposed to be an emergency meeting at the UN today about Trump’s declaration, and I expect she’ll have a few things to say. Then again, the UN is useless, unless you consider living with a thorn in your side helpful! Thanks, Chuck.

    • #12
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:43 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Old Bathos Moderator

    The failure to recognize Jerusalem at the capital probably has caused more violence because it was a tacit admission that the anti-Zionists may have a claim and thus encouraged Palestinians to wish for an eventual overthrow and foment dissent accordingly. If it were a fait accompli from jump, it would have encouraged an understanding that Israel is here to stay so learn to live with it.

    The wailing about the end of the “peace process” is entertaining. The quadrannual kabuki in which PLO leaders get to stay in fine hotels in Paris or Switzerland and pretend to negotiate while waiting for the USA to write a big check was always an expensive farce that only served to fatten the résumés of career diplomats and politicians. The rejection of Ehud Barak’s attempt in 2000 to give away the store made it pretty clear that these meetings are pointless. Destroying Israeli security and territorial integrity so that Western leftists can feel good about themselves was never a good idea.

    The Trump era increasingly seems to be less about right versus left and more about people who like clarity versus people who like to obfuscate.

    • #13
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:46 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    I hope that’s a deliberate message which will be supported by additional policy moves. Stability demands that there be a sovereign and secure Israel with well-defined borders. The details of that are open to debate and negotiation, but our clear message should be that we’re going to solve this problem with or without Palestinian approval. I’d prefer with, but we can’t let their obstructionism stop us.

    If they want to have some say about the future, the Palestinians will need to step up and stop stalling; they need to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist, which I think is the biggest stumbling block.

    • #14
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:47 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Then again, the UN is useless, unless you consider living with a thorn in your side helpful!

    The UN is worse than useless. It has significant moral authority – even in the US – allowing it to advance harmful ideas and abet maleficent forces.

    • #15
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:49 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    The failure to recognize Jerusalem at the capital probably has caused more violence because it was a tacit admission that the anti-Zionists may have a claim and thus encouraged Palestinians to wish for an eventual overthrow and foment dissent accordingly. If it were a fait accompli from jump, it would have encouraged an understanding that Israel is here to stay so learn to live with it.

    What a great observation, OB. It makes sense! Thanks!

    • #16
    • December 8, 2017, at 9:50 AM PST
    • Like
  17. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    I’m not sure anything can ever solve the problem as unrealistic boundaries for a two-state solution created by a misguided UN in 1947 made living together peacefully as neighbors impossible. Add to that the French intervention in Syria in 1920, plus a multitude of other sins made by the British during and after World War I, and you have the perfect recipe for insanity in the Middle East.

    • #17
    • December 8, 2017, at 3:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Rodin Member

    The two state solution is a chimera (in most senses of the word) and ultimately unworkable.

    • #18
    • December 8, 2017, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Trump should move the US embassy in Germany from Berlin to Bonn and the US Embassy in France to Berlin.

    And …

    Move the capital of China to Taipei, the capital of Tibet to Beijing, the capital of Ukraine to Sevastopol, Havana to Miami, London to either the Shetland Islands or the Falkland Islands, Brussels to the Belgian Congo, and the capital of the United States to Barrow, Alaska.

    • #19
    • December 9, 2017, at 1:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Zafar Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    The wailing about the end of the “peace process” is entertaining. The quadrannual kabuki in which PLO leaders get to stay in fine hotels in Paris or Switzerland and pretend to negotiate while waiting for the USA to write a big check was always an expensive farce that only served to fatten the résumés of career diplomats and politicians. The rejection of Ehud Barak’s attempt in 2000 to give away the store made it pretty clear that these meetings are pointless. Destroying Israeli security and territorial integrity so that Western leftists can feel good about themselves was never a good idea.

    The Trump era increasingly seems to be less about right versus left and more about people who like clarity versus people who like to obfuscate.

    That is exactly it.

    Wrt the ‘Peace Process’ – if you look at how it played out you’ll see it served Israel (‘s ongoing settlements while talking about a peace deal) not the Palestinians.

    I’m pleased the ambiguity is gone – but I think Israel might miss it – it was perfect cover for expansion by misdirection.

    The PA will miss it too – it was their whole excuse for drawing salaries to do security coordination with Israel without getting one inch closer to a Palestinian State. I wonder what they’ll do now.

    • #20
    • December 9, 2017, at 4:29 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Guruforhire Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    The wailing about the end of the “peace process” is entertaining. The quadrannual kabuki in which PLO leaders get to stay in fine hotels in Paris or Switzerland and pretend to negotiate while waiting for the USA to write a big check was always an expensive farce that only served to fatten the résumés of career diplomats and politicians. The rejection of Ehud Barak’s attempt in 2000 to give away the store made it pretty clear that these meetings are pointless. Destroying Israeli security and territorial integrity so that Western leftists can feel good about themselves was never a good idea.

    The Trump era increasingly seems to be less about right versus left and more about people who like clarity versus people who like to obfuscate.

    That is exactly it.

    Wrt the ‘Peace Process’ – if you look at how it played out you’ll see it served Israel (‘s ongoing settlements while talking about a peace deal) not the Palestinians.

    I’m pleased the ambiguity is gone – but I think Israel might miss it – it was perfect cover for expansion by misdirection.

    The PA will miss it too – it was their whole excuse for drawing salaries to do security coordination with Israel without getting one inch closer to a Palestinian State. I wonder what they’ll do now.

    I think that the point of Jerusalem was an impasse, and no progress was made until it was resolved. One party had to win and the other had to lose.

    Everything else is just pantomime piled upon farce.

    • #21
    • December 9, 2017, at 6:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Zafar Member

    Actually Israel was making a lot of progress while Oslo provided some distraction. Now that Oslo seems completely implausible, the progress may be less smooth. Or maybe not? Certainly the Palestinians will have no excuse to go along to get along – which will yield both pros and cons.

    As I said, I think it’s a good thing for them, though I also don’t think they’ve lost Jerusalem just yet. So long as 40% of Jersalem’s population is Palestinian Arab, the issues of borders, nationality, democracy and a group that’s politically and de facto disenfrachised because of its ethnicity (the A word wrt voting and building permits) remain floridly front and centre in this conflict.

    • #22
    • December 9, 2017, at 6:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Roosevelt Guck Inactive

    I think we need a new Peace Process. For too long, anti-Semites have seen it as a synonym for slowly disestablishing the State of Israel, turning the clock back before 1948, before the Balfour Declaration (which in their view is a bogus document, unlike the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which is their chief reference book in all matters relating to the Jews).

    • #23
    • December 9, 2017, at 2:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes

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