The Jerusalem Post has this heading on Thursday morning, a day after the US President Donald Trump, declared that Jerusalem would be the capital of Israel and hence he was ordering his Embassy officials to move over to the place from Tel Aviv: “Inherently American to be Pro-Israel." The Post went on to add that "the presidents of the USA, by far, have always taken a pro-Israel stance."
The Israelis proudly proclaim that while each leader may have had his own personal beliefs, the courage to implement them came from the 'Father of His Country," George Washington who wrote in a letter on August 17, 1790 to a Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island thus: “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid,” he said. “May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
Why did Trump do the unthinkable now? Has he brought Church to the White House? Does this mean precedence of religion and its interference in administration? Should diplomacy – if at all it could be called so – equal a crusade? Or simply put, is it a throwback to the medieval ages?
Indications of Trump making this bizarre move were on for some time now.
The biggest donor of the Republicans, casino billionaire and a media baron, Sheldon G Adelson, who met Trump at his Trump Tower ahead of the latter taking his office, revealed that Trump told him that moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be his priority. New York Times even quoted Mortan A Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, a hard-line pro-Israel group, as saying "this (moving the Embassy) is something that is in his heart and soul".
Trump has made it an election issue to blame his predecessors for failing to do so. It is by now clear to all that Trump is a political insurgent. Be it the Paris Accord or the Iran Nuclear Deal, he has simply pulled out and reversed the carefully crafted diplomacy that his country has evolved over a long period. Defying every orthodoxy, Trump has now only firmly established himself as an orthodox Christian.
Trump's move is an indicator that he does not believe in soft and smooth of diplomacy. Everything for him has to be hard and vivid or dark and dirty.
The American Senate on June 5, 2017, unanimously passed a resolution commemorating 50th anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem by 90-0. The resolution reaffirmed the Jerusalem Embassy Act and called upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.
On December 6, President Donald Trump announced the decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and ordered the State Department to begin the process of relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and signed the Presidential memorandum (Ironically, this very day Babri Masjid was demolished 25 years ago in our country).
Despite passage, the law remained unimplemented by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who viewed it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch's constitutional authority over foreign policy and they consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests. President Donald Trump signed the waiver in June 2017 before announcing the recognition of Jerusalem now.
Adelson is said to have pushed for the relocation of the embassy along with the Church consistently along with the representatives of evangelical Christian groups citing it as their major priority. While Trump has been promising a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine peoples, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his special envoy Jason D Greenblatt had been insisting on relocation as a means to peace settlement.
If, internally, there is not much resentment to the move, it is because, perhaps, that the 1995 law passed Congress with a whopping majority and also reaffirmed just six months ago. Interestingly New York Times got this full page advertisement on Thursday by the Republican Jewish Committee which said "President Trump, You Promised. You Delivered."
Pastors, Rabbis, evangelists, Zionists and all those representing Christian organizations are now triumphal over the move and holding special congregations and prayers for "peace of Jerusalem". Alas, how mistaken they are. Instead of leading to ever lasting peace, the move will only result in bloody days ahead.
Turkish President Erdogan said "the moves throws region in ring of fire" and the Hamas termed the US decision "on Jerusalem is a war declaration". The Arabs and the Muslims are frustrated. The EU is left aghast and so does the Pope.
While the move sparked global condemnation it should be noted that under the 1947 UN Partition Plan to divide historical Palestine between Jewish and Arab States, Jerusalem was granted special status and was meant to be placed under international sovereignty and control based on the religion importance of the city to the three Abrahamic religions. Later, after a few wars when Israel passed a law declaring Jerusalem as its capital, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 478 in 1980, declaring the law 'null and void'.
Today, there are 4.2 lakh Palestinians in East Jerusaleam with permanent residency IDs' with temporary Jordanian passports without a national identification number. This is another Stateless community like Rohingyas. The consequences are bound to be bitter and prolonged for the US over the present move. US offices abroad and its businesses need tighter security now as do their people. Jerusalem does not belong to Israel alone and it is neither Trump's real estate to be gifted to his ally!
By W Chandrakanth