Today, the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. The move is significant – it marks a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city by the U.S. and an end to the dispute of its status by the world’s foremost superpower.
The move is also significant in the battle against radical Islam. Here are four reasons why:
Congress passed the bipartisan Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 which required the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be located in Jerusalem. It was unanimously affirmed by the Senate in 2017.
Up until President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, U.S. presidents declined to act on the bill, citing security concerns. That was a code word for appeasement of radical Islamists (as well as other Arab nationalists, like the Palestinian Authority, which conveniently pulls out Islamist tropes for violent jihad when it suits their purposes).
As it has been proven historically, appeasement has only led to the emboldening of violent Islamists and has been the impetus for broad-scale and unrelenting terrorism, both against Israel and the U.S.
(The opposite is also true. Far from causing a world conflagration as predicted by various elements which have traditionally taken the appeasement route, the recognition by Trump that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel passed with narry a whimper in the Arab world.)
The embassy move is a message to Islamists: There will be no more appeasement.
Former president Obama famously vowed the use of chemical weapons in Syria was his red line. When Syrian President Assad pulled out the weapons and used them on his own people, Obama reneged on his promise to take action, serving to embolden the Syrian despot even further.
That’s just one example.
World powers have already gotten the idea that Trump is a force to be reckoned with. One gets the idea that his saber rattling against North Korea was not a bunch of empty promises, as we have already witnessed substantial progress with North Korea, from their willingness to come to the table to talk about getting rid of their nuclear weapons to the release of political prisoners to the U.S.
Jason Greenblatt, a key player in Trump’s Mideast negotiating team, said the move “show(s) that America will always stand with Israel.”
Said another way, the move demonstrates in a dramatic way (i.e., going against the stance of the European Union) that it supports a country that actually fights radical Islam instead of giving it lip service.
Tiny Israel has risked war with Iran by not crossing its own red lines – which, at the moment, have to do with making sure that Iranian forces and their advanced weapons are not knocking on Israel’s borders or being transferred to Israel’s enemies like Hezbollah. To this end, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian installations in Syria and been willing to face the consequences.
Similarly, Israel is currently showing the world it will not back down when threatened by the Islamist terror organization Hamas on its southern border.
Greenblatt also noted the move is “not a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace deal. Rather, it is a necessary condition for it.”
In other words, the Arab World needs to accept the reality of the State of Israel, make peace with it and stop using the issue as an excuse for not getting their own houses in order.
We see this has already happened in the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Under tremendous and potentially disastrous threats from not only from their own radical elements but from Iran, these states have chosen to accept (and even embrace) the reality of the State of Israel, which they rightly believe can help them win these battles.
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