Jerusalem,The Capital of Israel

An Opinion


President Trump has announced that the United States "officially" recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. And, across the world many have seemed to have gone nuts.

Even the Pope has come out against the president's action. Did Pope Francis change his name to Pope "Neville Chamberlain"? Appeasement NEVER works, Pope Francis!

Even here at home many have decried the president's actions as being "dangerous". A simple example comes from Dianne Feinstein - even though 6 months ago she voted FOR doing exactly what the 1995 Law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, demands the government do. Hypocritical much?!

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Before proceeding, a note or two is in order.

We have traveled the globe rather extensively. We have met and conversed with Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindi, and Jews; peoples from republics, dictatorships and monarchies; people who live under socialism, capitalism, and, yes, even under communism. I am not referring to people who are tour guides, hotel staff, and the like. We attempt, as best we can, to engage with "locals" in restaurants and even sometimes just people on the streets.

Without reservation I can tell you we have NEVER come across people who were hateful or disrespectful of or to ANY group who may have different beliefs, nationalities, or political persuasions - with the exception, perhaps, of here in the US.

In our travels we never bring up the subjects of religion or politics with peoples from other lands. It would be rude. However, it is they who bring up these subjects - be it in Ireland, China, Tibet, India, Russia, the Amazon Jungles of Peru, or the remote deserts in Jordan and Egypt. They seem to be most curious as to how we fell about them and their countries and their beliefs. Sharing of information is what they seem to crave. Such discussions are never with any form of animosity from them or us - no matter the subject.

The below comments reflect on "governments" and not the people who may live under these "leaderships".

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The president's declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been met with condemnation and threats from the Muslim world - as well as from non-Muslim nations. Turkey has threatened Israel for the president's position. Israel? Curious! Israel didn't make the proclamation. In fact, Israel has called Jerusalem its capital since it became a formal, recognized, official "state" in 1948. Also, in fact, Jerusalem has been considered the capital of the Jewish homeland by Israelites for over 3,000 years.

Israel's reaction to the president's declaration seems clear from the below picture.

All the ugly discourse against Israel seems to be predicated on the ongoing claim by those who "self-identify" as Palestinians that Israel is "occupying" their land. Some facts here might be helpful.

There is no such specific place, country, or nation-state as "Palestine". There never has been. In the days of Ancient Greece the word "Palestine" referred to a geographical area - not a country. And, it officially has been so referred to ever since. Think of this is as akin to you saying you are from "Central America" - it's not a country, it's an area of land. Further, modern day Arabs didn't show up in the area until 640 A.D. - that's about 1,800 years after Solomon, according to archaeologists, built the First Temple in Jerusalem and they did not even call themselves "Palestinians" until 1964.

Those who are anti-Israel complain that Israel is not being "compassionate" toward the Palestinian people who only want a country to call their own. NOTHING could be further from fact.

In order to make more sense of my last statement, a bit of historical geography of the region is necessary. In 1920, as a result of the Balfour Declaration, the area shown below is the area "carved out" and designed to be the "Jewish Homeland".

This is what the map of the "Jewish Homeland" looks like today.

The above map is repeated below to illustrate the area known as the "West Bank".

The "West Bank" is populated by people calling themselves Palestinian. The "West Bank" is considered, by international legal definition as a "disputed" area. Some like to term it "occupied territory"; but this is incorrect. Note: There are legal differences in official meanings of "disputed" and "occupied" areas. But, I won't go into that at this point.

It is a VERY curious political situation in Israel. Israel, overall, has the government responsibility for the entire area. However, the Palestinian Authority has local, government control over the West Bank. A delicate and tenuous balance is in play every day.

Now, let's look at the entirety of the Muslim "world" in the Middle East compared to Israel - geographically.

Specifically, Israel's land mass (and that INCLUDES the West Bank) is only .285% of the land occupied by Muslims in the area.

Back to: "..Israel is not being "compassionate" toward the Palestinian people.."

Comparing the Balfour map to Israel's current "footprint", one might reasonably ask "What happened to all the land Israel seems to have lost?" A valid question. Did Israel lose the land during wars? NO!

All of the "missing" land was given up by Israel in hopes of peace being established across the region. Remember my admonition re: "Appeasement NEVER works."? Well, there you go.

An excerpt from a recent news article by Aaron Klein reinforces my point:

"The only thing standing in the way of the PA having a state is the Palestiniansí own abject refusal to accept numerous statehood offers while rejecting Israelís very existence. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority has rejected every single Israeli offer of a state. Those state offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and more offers were made in 2008. It was recently reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quietly made another such offer in 2014. Most of the statehood offers included a Palestinian capital in eastern sections of Jerusalem." Aaron Klein

If one is looking for "compassion" towards the Palestinian people, would it not be reasonable for one of the nations having very large areas of land to offer just a bit for a Palestinian "homeland"? The continued demanding land from a massively smaller country points to the real issue.

That issue is that the Muslim world wants Israel to disappear - not to just give up even more land. Those who fail to understand this very simple concept are focused on an impossible goal - true and lasting peace in the Middle East; at least not as long as Muslim governments will only be satisfied by Israel's disappearance.

Further, there are currently 18 Arab/Palestinian members of Israel's Knesset (Israel's parliament). Actually, since the first Knesset was formed in 1949 Arab/Palestinians have been represented in this political body. So, despite what one may read, Israel does not, in fact, treat Palestinian people as second class citizens.

The Israeli and Palestinian people live and work side by side in Israel in what seems perfect harmony. This is not something I've read; we've been there and seen it for ourselves. So, don't believe that all Arab Muslims hate Jews and that all Jews hate Arab Muslims. It simply is not true. The Arab Muslims with who we have spoken indicate they would MUCH rather live inside Israel than in the "disputed" territory. They feel safe inside Israel and, there, they can provide for their families.

Finally, there is the issue of creating a "One State Solution" or a "Two State Solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Arguments exist on both sides for both solutions. As with everything else in this area, nothing is simple.

A "One State Solution" would unify the area under one, overarching government. As currently being proposed by the Palestinians, this would result in the Jews no longer having a "homeland", per se. Of course, there's much more to this approach; but, this specific approach would not be in Israel's best interests.

The "Two State Solution" would create, as one might guess, 2 separate nations within the current map boundaries of Israel.

This solution would cause Israel to have a sworn enemy-nation directly on its border with only about 40 miles separating this border and the sea. Pretty narrow strip of land to defend, I would say.

This solution would also leave the Palestinians in the West Bank without the law-enforcing efforts of Israel, eradicate the infrastructure provided by Israel (power, water, etc.), and, in my opinion, this new nation would soon be the "Hell-hole" that is the Gaza Strip. The current state of affairs in Gaza is their own, direct responsibility and fault. (The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, a designated terrorist organization responsible for the majority of military attacks on Israel.)

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For a much more detailed look at the Israel-Palestine conflict over time, see my much earlier produced video. Note: there are other videos referenced in this video. Here they are (+ 2 others):

The West Bank, (Ayalon's Answer To A Rebuttal of His "West Bank" Video), The Peace Process, The Refugees, The United Nations, The Balance of Power in the Middle East, and Jerusalem.