For President Donald Trump, today is Jerusalem Decision Day.
Over and over, to millions and millions of people whose vote he was after, this man pledged emphatically and unequivocally that, should they make him president, he would immediately move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
It’s something his supporters really, really wanted. They greeted his repeated pledge – which almost became a mantra – with loud cheers, exuberant applause and standing ovations.
They believed him.
They believed him and they dismissed his sneering opponents who scoffed and said, “It’s what all presidential candidates have promised for years and years. You’ll see. Donald Trump will find an excuse and a reason not to make good on his word.”
Will these detractors and naysayers be vindicated? Is the man who bowled along through the most upsetting election campaign in American history – with his vow to change everything drawing out of their homes to vote multitudes of disaffected and PC-cowered citizens, blowing his opponents out of the water and leaving pollsters and pundits in wrecked disbelief in his wake – is he really going to be like all the others on this crucial issue?
We’ll know today. Today – on June 1, 2017, come 11:59 pm, we will know if they were right.
Today he has to decide whether he will sign a waiver postponing the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem – a move that will recognise the city as the capital of the Jewish state – or whether he will stay his hand and allow the relocation to go ahead.
He has another important decision to make today – in fact as I write this the news networks are poised to go the White House and hear whether President Trump is going to stay with the Paris Accord on Climate Control or pull the US out of it.
But the climate issue pales into total insignificance alongside the Jerusalem one.
Why is it so important? Leaving the Bible aside for just a minute (if I dare) – it is important because America’s position on Jerusalem is a measure of how moral and just the United States is – or is not.
Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. It just does. It has for thousands and thousands of years. Again, I’m not talking about what the Bible says. I’m talking about history – archeologically verified history. The city was the capital of the nation for centuries when it dwelt in the land, when it was a free kingdom and when it returned from captivity to become a free kingdom again. It was its capital even when the Land of Israel lay inside the Roman Empire – until they destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70 and ploughed it into the ground in AD 135. And it remained their capital in the hearts of the exiled Jews for thousands of years after they were driven out of their land. Every day, for the past 2000 years, every Jew who has prayed has prayed to return to the land of Israel and to the city of Jerusalem. That’s hundreds of millions of devoted prayers. The Jewish people bound themselves to the city and bound the city to themselves, pledging their oath of allegiance from Psalm 137: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.”
Barely escaping the unrelenting and unprecedented efforts to annihilate them, the Jews came back – to the coastal plain and the Negev, to the Golan and the Galilee, to Samaria and Judea, and to Jerusalem.
From the mid-19th century, Jews were the majority population in their city, and they have been the majority now for 170 years. In 1948 their new government was installed in half of the city, and in 1967 – in a war of self-defense – they drove the occupying Jordanian forces from the rest of Jerusalem and united it under the Star of David.
In fact, right up into the 1960s, when a terror group brutally championing the cause of a fabricated nation calling itself “the Palestinians” came along, no other nation has ever laid claim to Jerusalem as capital nor sought to make it capital. Not one.
Jerusalem is the Jews’.
Bringing the Bible in: The name of Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible (the Tanach or “Old” Testament) 610 times.
It appears not once in the Muslim Koran.
– No faith other than the Jewish faith sees Jerusalem as capital.
– No nation other than the Jewish nation has ever had Jerusalem as its capital
– No other nation than the nation of Israel has any historical claim to Jerusalem as capital.
And despite this irrefutable fact, NO other nation apart from Israel has its designated capital rejected by the international community.
There is one word for that – Anti-Semitism.
To try explain a decision NOT to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem by saying that another group also has a claim to the city and that that group and those who support it could respond with violence would be to make a pathetic and cowardly excuse.
Is Donald Trump a man of his word? Will he do what is, simply, right? Or will he sign the waiver and put off moving the embassy for the 43rd time, as all presidents have done since 1995?
Today we will know.
This article originally appeared on Jerusalem Watchman, June 1, 2017, and reposted with permission.