“Trump and Jerusalem: right or wrong?”
David French: Move is one of the best, most moral of his administration
President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and to announce plans to move America’s embassy to the seat of Israel’s government is one of the best, most moral and important decisions of his young administration. On this issue, he is demonstrating greater resolve than Republican and Democratic presidents before him, and he is defying some of the worst people in the world.
Think I’m overstating this? Think I’m too enthusiastic about an isolated diplomatic maneuver — especially when that maneuver, to quote The New York Times, “isolates the U.S.” and “has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders”? Let’s consider law, history and context.
First, a sovereign nation is entitled to name its capital, and it is the near-universal practice of other nations to locate their embassies in that same capital. I say “near-universal” because the nations of the world have steadfastly refused to recognize Israel’s capital and placed their embassies outside of Jerusalem. They do so in spite of the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the City of David and the fact that no conceivable peace settlement would turn over the seat of Israel’s government to Palestinian control — even if parts of East Jerusalem are reserved for a Palestinian capital.
Yet the international community condemns the United States for recognizing reality, for treating Israel the way the world treats every other nation. Why?
From the birth of the modern nation-state of Israel, an unholy mixture of anti-semites and eliminationists has sought to drive the Jewish people into the sea and, when military measures failed, to isolate the Jewish nation diplomatically, militarily and culturally. Working through the U.N. and enabled by Soviet-bloc and later European allies, these anti-semites and eliminationists have waged unrelenting “lawfare” against Israel. (Lawfare is the abuse of international law and legal processes to accomplish military objectives that can’t be achieved on the battlefield.)
The scam works like this: The U.N. and other international bodies establish rules that apply only to Israel or they hold Israel to higher standards than any other nation on earth; then, when Israel (or its primary ally, the U.S.) objects to those unjust rules and double standards, the Arab world threatens unrest, riots, or renewed jihad. A cowardly European community goes along, perpetuating injustice in the name of “stability.”
The examples are legion. The U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. General Assembly dedicate more resolutions to condemning Israel than the rest of the world’s nations combined. The world’s Islamic countries vote in unified lockstep against Israel, though many of these countries are thousands of miles from the Middle East. They’re often motivated by vile antisemitic bias. According to a 2013 Anti-defamation League survey, a whopping 74 percent of North African and Middle Eastern residents registered anti-semitic beliefs. Even 61 percent of faraway Malaysians have anti-semitic attitudes.
If “stability” means the perpetuation of double standards, the isolation of Israel, and continued kowtowing to threats of violence, then it’s time to call the Arabs’ bluff. If the most powerful nation in the history of the world doesn’t have the moral strength to properly recognize Israel’s capital, it gives aid and comfort to those who impose unique burdens on the Jewish state. Will America’s Arab allies — nations that depend on our alliances to confront a growing Iranian threat — forsake their own national security to protest an embassy location? It’s time to find out.
The Trump administration made the right move. Now let’s see how the bigots respond.
A poster in Jerusalem praises President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
Students in Sidon, Lebanon, burn a poster of President Donald Trump as they protest his Jerusalem decision.