A "Mitzvah" is a Hebrew word, referring to an act done by a person performing a good deed. President Trump performed a good deed when he finally implemented what has been U.S. policy since 1995 when he acknowledged once and for all that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that our Embassy will be relocated there.
Back in 1995, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of that year. Thereafter, President Clinton chose not to sign that bill into law. Instead, he let it become law by default after a 10-day waiting period to show his disapproval.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act sets forth the following, which has now become a law with consequence instead of one honored in the breach:
"Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.
"Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
"The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.
"The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.
"From 1948–1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan"
"In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.
"Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city. . . .
. . . "This year marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected. . . .
. . . "The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.
"The United States conducts official meetings and other business in the city of Jerusalem in de facto recognition of its status as the capital of Israel."
"In 1996, the State of Israel celebrated the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry."
Donald J. Trump has now declared that America not only recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but that he is also setting in motion a plan of action for that to become reality.
Mr. Trump is directing that a suitable site be chosen, that designs be drafted, and assessments be made with regard to security, construction, moving of personnel, staffing, etc. The embassy will not be moved overnight; it will take years to accomplish but it will be done.
The president did not make his decision without extensive interagency input and counsel. Additionally, President Trump sought out advice and input from Israel, nations in the region, and U.S. allies — globally.
For decades America allowed herself to become a wedge in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by not acting decisively in moving our embassy pursuant to U.S. law. This indecision allowed for America’s embassy to become a negotiating sticking point with regard to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
While some of America’s allies may not be in favor of President’s Trump’s actions it doesn’t change the fact that his decision is in the best interests of the U.S. and our most valued ally in the Mideast – Israel. This will aid Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects because it takes a sticking point off the table.
The bottom line is this: America does not need anyone else’s permission to enact U.S. law. We are not bound by any international agreements or dictate with regard to where our U.S. embassy — in any country — will be located.
The actions by our president do not change that America seeks a two-state solution, one with clearly defined and defensible borders. With regard to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, what we want is in the best interests of the parties regarding the actual administration of the city of Jerusalem — and its holy sites. The parties to the peace process must reach an agreement, one honored in its performance instead of honored in its breach.
Peace agreements are only as good as they are for the parties bound by them.
America for too long as been playing both sides against the middle in the peace process.
We have not been fair dealers. We stand with Israel first and foremost. While we can and should be helpful to peace initiatives we cannot pretend to be without allegiance — and bias.
President Trump’s principled leadership will greatly improve the chances of the peace process becoming successful. Our friends have been emboldened, our adversaries have been put on notice as to what America stands for — and what it does not.
Short-term criticism by some friends and foes should give rise to acceptance and opportunity for them to move their embassies to Jerusalem as well. My advice to the Israelis and the Palestinians is "carpe diem."
Use President Trump’s actions to restart the peace process in good faith.
I would note that I am a proud American Jew, was a member of President George W. Bush’s senior White House staff, and was also a presidential appointee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
Bradley Blakeman was a member of President George W. Bush's senior White House staff from 2001 to 2004. He is also a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business Channel. He currently is a Principal with the 1600group.com a consulting company. — Click Here Now.
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