In his latest hysteria-inducing move, President Trump is again demonstrating the blessings of installing a political outsider in the White House. Upending centuries of established practice, President Trump is incorporating truth, reality, and common sense into American foreign policy. Virtually any swamp denizen — trained diplomat, think-tank foreign policy expert, media pundit — could explain the dangers inherent in such a radical approach.
Yet our president has — once again — plunged ahead in a manner appearing contemptuous of the wise establishment.
In the real world of facts and history, King David chose Jerusalem as the capital of his unified Israelite Kingdom early in the Iron Age. In the 3,000 or so years since, Jerusalem has remained the universally acknowledged and unquestioned capital of the Jewish people and of no other. Throughout that entire period, Jews have prayed for Jerusalem multiple times a day, punctuated by the Passover Seder’s famous refrain: Next Year in Jerusalem!
Two thousand years after the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth, every Jewish wedding ceremony — including those of Donald Trump’s children — still culminates with a glass broken as a reminder that even amidst our greatest joy, our hearts break for the destruction of our beloved Jerusalem.
Since David’s arrival, no Jewish polity holding Jerusalem has ever declared a capital anywhere else. Through 12 centuries of Islamic rule that began in the earliest stages of the Arab conquest, no Muslim or Arab people ever claimed Jerusalem as its capital.
Little if anything differentiated the Muslim Arabs living in or near Jerusalem from those living throughout the Levant. More importantly, Christian and Muslim reverence for the Jewish holy city is not coincidental; it arises entirely out of important connections between those faiths’ earliest days and the Jews.
So it seemed obvious that, in 1948, the newly independent Jewish State of Israel would declare Jerusalem as its capital. Initially, an illegal Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem’s older eastern neighborhoods and ancient walled city restricted the Israeli capital to the newer western side of town. The brief division was a horror, rending the ancient city and ravishing Jewish holy sites.
When Israel’s response to Arab — and specifically Jordania — aggression led to the city’s liberation and reunification in 1967, a whole, vibrant Jerusalem assumed its rightful and historical role as Israel’s capital.
In the 50 plus years since the abomination of a divided Jerusalem ended, Jerusalem has thrived under Israel’s sovereignty as never before. For the first time in historic memory, holy sites of all faiths are open to the faithful. Jerusalem has risen from the devastating slum that Mark Twain had visited less than a century earlier to become a clean, safe, modern city.
The unified Jerusalem has been kind to Israel, and Israel in turn has been kind to its unified, eternal capital. Redividing it today — as many in the swamp claim to want — would be a cruel, criminal act.
President Trump, in a blow to the moral and practical foolishness of political precedent, has aligned U.S. policy with historical facts, contemporary realities, and US law — by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel’s purported peace partner — a multi-billion dollar, totalitarian, terrorist enterprise, has responded with threats. World "leaders," all bearing close kinship to the swamp, have rallied around the terrorists, collaborating with their condemnations and warnings rather than uniting against their threats.
To swamp dwellers, history and reality are tertiary concerns, at best. They have constructed a parallel universe in which a close-knit national entity, the Arab people of Palestine —oddly absent from the historical record prior to the rise of Zionism — long chafed beneath Ottoman imperial rule. At the very moment that they stood poised for self-determination, the European imperial powers swooped in.
Shamed that Europe’s treatment of Jews had recently crossed the line from oppression into extermination, and dismayed that Hitler’s final solution to Europe’s Jewish problem had lacked its promised finality, Europe dumped their problem on the unsuspecting and innocent Arab people of Palestine.
Leading members of the international community have spent decades fleshing out this storyline. They have built organizations and institutions to keep it alive, written science fiction tomes masquerading as history, and issued proclamations to counter endless archaeological evidence.
They have also consigned poor Arabs to squalor, and held them captive to terrorist leaders, to better serve their fiction — collateral damage in their campaign against the Jewish State.
President Obama, the first American leader to join their ranks fully, elevated the movement’s prestige and multiplied its accomplishments. 2016, when the U.N. tried to vote the Jerusalem and the Jews out of history and criminalize Jewish residency in the Jews’ indigenous homeland, was a banner year. Hitler, in hell, was smiling.
Yesterday, with one announcement, President Trump seems poised to destroy all of their hard work. What could he be thinking?
Given the president’s demonstrated preferences for victory over failure, fact over narrative, and common sense over conventional wisdom, the disenfranchised swamp dwellers have responded predictably. Their baying against the president’s bow to reality and American interests is saturated with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism and explicit threats of anti-American violence.
The fictional narrative has always pitted grudging esteem for the Jews with a debased, defamatory view of Arabs and Muslims. The international community casts the Arab/Israeli conflict as a battle between rational, mature, peaceful, deliberative, self-controlled Jews and unthinking, juvenile, overemotional, violent, barbaric Arabs.
Jews, it is commonly held, would prefer to swallow untold indignities than lower themselves to depraved depths at which the Arabs exist. The Arabs, on the other hand, are viewed as an undifferentiated mass id, uncontrolled by any sense of self-interest, hell-bent on martyrdom, suicide, and mass murder.
Any affront could set them off, leading to a new World War. It’s what George W. Bush referred to in another context as "the soft bigotry of low expectations." Except, in this case, with horrific, deadly results.
President Trump clearly rejects that racist view of Arabs and instead treats them as moral actors and moral equals. He has worked closely to rebuild the bridges that President Obama burned connecting the U.S. to President al-Sisi of Egypt, King Salman (and his heir apparent, Mohammed bin Salman) of Saudi Arabia, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
He knows that these leaders understand the world as it exists and appreciate the true threats to their regimes and their people. He is betting on them to lead their people responsibly towards responsible behavior.
President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital embraces history and realism and sets an entirely new tone for negotiations between the parties. Indeed, President Trump may be the first Western leader in history willing to respect Arabs as equals — demanding from them precisely the same responsible behavior he expects from Westerners.
No wonder the swamp resents him.
Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., Vice President and Director of Policy at the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Jeff Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic, Chairman of the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union's Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.
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