President Donald Trump’s advance team did the president no favors in anticipation of Trump’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem next week when, according to Channel 2 News in Israel, US representatives in Jerusalem apparently turned down a request to have Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu join Trump during the president’s historic visit to the Western Wall.  According to Israeli news sources, the Prime Minsters’ Office were told that “the president was making a ‘private’ visit to the Western Wall.”To add insult to injury, an offer from the Israelis to help facilitate the arrangements was shut down. Shockingly, one of the reps reportedly told the Israelis that “… this is not your territory … this is in the West Bank … it is a private visit by the president, and it is not your business.”

It seems clear from the hostile manner in which the media is treating President Trump that cold hard facts are at most a distraction to their full blown character assassination based on feelings and ulterior motives.  That said, at the end of the day, the objective facts remain the only criteria of measuring intellectual honesty.  To that end, I would submit that seeing whether the representations reported by Channel 2 News square with the objective facts related to the subject matter at hand may be a very revealing exercise:

The Western Wall has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries.  In fact, the earliest source mentioning Jewish attachments to the site date from the 4th century. The Western Wall was clearly demarcated as part of Israel when Israel became an Independent Sovereign Nation.   It was only for a relatively short period of 19 years, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, that the Western Wall temporarily came under Jordanian control until Israel recaptured the Old City in 1967.  The Jewish connection to the Western Wall is a historic fact that is recognized not only by archeology but is also mentioned in Christian and Islamic sources.

Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, the father of the so-called Mussar movement, once said that “the greatest distance between any two points is the distance that separates our minds from our hearts.”  In other words, one can intellectually know that something is objectively truth, and yet, due to the blind spots of partisan perception one can nevertheless make claims that are not in synch with intellectual honesty.

The only logical way to place in question the connection of The Western Wall to Israel and the Jewish People is to acknowledge the bias and blindness that result from placing political agendas ahead of the facts.  The historical connection of The Jewish People to the Western Wall is well established. To question the veracity of these claims at this juncture would be the functionalequivalent,in an American context, of claiming that The Statute of Liberty is actually in Canada!

Antony Gordon, a Fulbright Scholar, graduate of the Harvard Law School and member of the Advisory Council for Israel and Middle East Security spearheaded by Congressman Ron DeSantis, Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee is the co-author of the renowned research article titled “Will Your Grandchild Be Jewish? and one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world in America.