As the heart of Israel is Jerusalem, so the heart of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount.
Prime Minister Netanyahu,
Today you are to host the new leader of the free world in your land, as a few weeks ago he hosted you in his.
When you greet Donald Trump on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport, you will welcome the president of a 240-year-old country to the Land of Israel in which — 4,000 years ago — the God of Israel ordained that Abraham should father your nation.
When in Jerusalem, a little later in the day, you hold your joint press conference at the King David, it will be in the hotel named after the founder of that great dynasty who, 3000 years ago, designated this city to be the capital of his kingdom; the place of his throne.
As has been said: Jerusalem was Israel’s capital when the ground on which Washington DC would be built – 2790 years after David – was swampland and bog on the banks of the Potomac.
Yes, Mr Prime Minister, concerning your nation’s claim to the land of Israel and to the city of Jerusalem – you will literally and figuratively be standing on solid ground as you warmly – and with understandable hope – welcome President Trump.
And yet, according to his official schedule, the president is to make an important stop between Ben Gurion Airport and the King David Hotel – one more stop it is critical that you share with him.
But, apparently, you won’t.
Mr Trump is set to go to the Western Wall where it is expected he will say a prayer.
You should be there to greet him, Sir, and standing next to him, to pray with him.
You should most certainly be there.
As much as this land is Israel’s land, and as much as this city is Israel’s capital, the Western Wall is Israel’s Western Wall.
It stands against the holiest site in Judaism, the holiest site in your land – the Temple Mount.
And this, too, is yours.
It is where Abraham passed his test of faith and bound up his “only son Isaac” whom he loved. It is where the glory of the L-RD God of Israel filled the magnificent holy temple built by Solomon – the first son of David to sit on David’s throne. It is where the Second Temple, built by Zerubbabel and transformed by Herod stood until it was destroyed by Rome. It is the place to which every Jew who has prayed for the past 2000 years has looked, mourning every 9th of Av, and praying to see the House of the L-RD restored to become a house of prayer for all nations.
No other nation has such an enduring, unbroken and deep, deep connection to its national treasures as you Jews have to this place.
With the utmost respect, Mr Prime Minister, you know that concerning other great national landmarks around the world, no contention exists; no one would think of challenging those claims:
Thus does the Great Wall of China (built 300 BC) belong to the Chinese people; the Tower of London (est. 1078) belong to the English; the Kremlin (1495) belong to the Russians; the Blue Mosque (1616) belong to the Turks; the Taj Mahal (1648) belong to the Indians; the Champs Elysees (1670) belong to the French; the Statue of Liberty (1875) belong to the Americans.
And thus does the Temple Mount – on which stood the First Temple (957 BC) and the Second Temple (516 BC) and which is buttressed by the Western Wall (19 BC) belong to the Jews.
It is, indisputably and categorically, yours.
I understand that you might be in breach of protocol, and that there would be the concern that you might offend the world leader whose friendship is so important to your universally criticized and condemned nation.
The other day you said the if President Trump moved the US Embassy fro Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this would help the cause of peace by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”
Sir, you have no power over the movement of embassies to Jerusalem, but this thing you can do – showing by your bold and G-d-fearing action that the heart of Jerusalem is the centerpiece of your capital city.
I so hope and pray then that, when President Trump and his entourage arrive at the Kotel, you will be there to greet him.
In this way – as Abraham your father did right there – you can show that your faith and your trust is G-d.
It need not be a grand state ceremony.
But if, when the presidential motorcade sweeps into the plaza and stops before that Wall, you and your cabinet are standing beneath the Star of David on your flag, ready to welcome him – the message you will send to him, to the Arabs, to UNESCO and the EU and the world, will be loud and unequivocally clear:
This land is Israel’s land, Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital, and the Temple Mount with its Western Wall is Israel’s holiest site.
Yes, as President Trump said, ending his speech in Riyadh yesterday, may G-d — and he prays to the G-d of the Bible, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Israel — bless the United States of America.
And may G-d bless Israel – the nation He calls His people, and the land He has given to you, forever.