Distrusting Donald? Teasing Trump?

All politicians make campaign promises. Most of them lie. We Israelis are perhaps more cognizant of it than other more-trusting nations.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump promised that one of his very first acts would be to move the American Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Was Trump teasing Americans Jews for their vote?

In today’s meeting with staff there seemed to be a reversal of that promise. Instead of it being one of his first acts, the American president has put it on the back burner for the present time.

An American congressman of the Democratic party, Adam Schiff, has accused the new president of continually lying. He stated that due to intense pressure and complaining from Arab and Muslim states threatening a new “world war” if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem, Donald Trump has decided to wait until detailed investigations could be examined. That is diplomatic talk for “until the two parties, Israelis and Palestinians, reach an accord”. In other words, the status quo remains as it is and the American embassy remains where it is.

All the talk about appointing his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner as an “ambassador” of peace-making between us and them is futile. Once again, an American president has talked the talk and failed to walk the walk.

In the event that the American president has compromised on his promise, he needs constant reminders that Jerusalem is Jewrusalem… was, is, and always will be.

Bibi Netanyahu has been invited to the White House in February for a face-to-face, not telephone voice-to-voice, meeting with President Trump. Bibi has been successful over many years in fluctuating and flip-flopping so he will have much in common with Donald Trump.

How frustrating it is for us to put our trust in the promises of an American president only to see them fly in the wind.

It is true that the entire international family of nations has opposed the moving of the American embassy out of Tel-Aviv. It is also sadly true that many, if not most, of those nations do not like Jews and would be happy to see us disappear. Tel-Aviv would, God forbid, be called Tel-el Abib and Jerusalem Ursalim al Quds. Never will happen. The United Nations and UNESCO can wrongly refer to the Temple Mount by an Arabic name and can disregard ancient Jewish ties to Jerusalem, City of David, but their misguided actions can only infuriate us but can never do us harm. We know who we are and where we are and where we were three thousand years ago when no Christian nor Muslim ever walked on the earth.

We should be disappointed in Donald Trump’s inability to overcome international pressure. We should be disappointed in a non-Jewish president with Jewish family ties who preaches the sanctity of Jerusalem to the Jewish people and who fails to practice what he preaches.

His chair in the Oval Office has not yet been sufficiently warmed. Let us give it a little more time. Sooner or later the man who sits in that chair will feel the heat. We must count on American Jewry to make it happen. No more teasing. No more disappointments. Donald Trump has made a promise.

Now let him fulfill it.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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