Today the entire world has listened to eleven minutes of glory. The American President, Donald John Trump, has done what no other American president or leader of any nation on the face of the globe has had the courage to do.
Without hesitation, he declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. It is extremely important to note that the president did NOT say that America recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. On the contrary. By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it infers recognition of ALL Jerusalem, both West and East.
The president stated that he still supports the idea of a two-state solution but he must surely know that Israel cannot and will not recognize the eastern part of Jerusalem as a proposed future capital of a proposed Palestinian state. Jerusalem will remain as the capital of Israel… ALL of Jerusalem !
America now stands alone. Other cowardly nations are not prepared to take the gigantic step. One can only wonder which country will be the next to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and which country will be the first to open its embassy there.
I personally have the feeling that it will be a South American country since nations from that part of the world supported the 1947 partition of Palestine and recognized the State of Israel in 1948.
None of us can know if King David made a public announcement when he declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital three thousand years ago. President Trump’s recognition sounded in many ways similar to the Gettysburg Address of America’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln.
Both presidents Lincoln and Trump emphasized the need to bind the wounds and to begin the healing. Both regarded peace as the ultimate dream and goal for ending division and hatred.
In the Hebrew Bible, two prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, both uttered the same complaint… “they cry peace, peace, when there is no peace”. That is the situation in the Middle East today.
Israel says it wants peace. The Palestinians say they want peace. But there simply is no peace. Not now, and the future looks dismal.
In eleven minutes of glory, Donald Trump gave the most magnificent speech of his presidency. He noted that the road would be rocky and that there would be dissent, but he stressed that with goodwill there was a possibility that peace could be possible.
Today the Palestinians have declared three days of rage. There will be flag burnings, protests in the streets, rock throwing, and fires. It will achieve nothing more than allowing their anger to be vent.
They would be best advised by their weak leaders to end the rage and to begin a framework for mutual discussions with the Israelis that could lead to a compromise agreement that both sides could live with.
Sadly, I do not see that happening very soon, if at all. The Palestinians have not learned the lessons of 1948, 1967 and 1973. All the intifadas were kindled and their flames burned out. Violence will produce only more violence and blood will be unnecessarily spilled.
Eleven minutes of glory can be the healing balm of Gilead. Having balm is not effective unless one uses it. Healing does not occur by itself. Medications are needed.
An American embassy in Jerusalem in the near future is something that we can look forward to in bringing both Israelis and Palestinians to a neutral place in which feelings can be expressed openly and ideas considered in mutual good faith.
The 11 minutes of glory, the greatest since our Declaration of Independence was read aloud by David Ben-Gurion in May 1948, offers us renewed hope.
I thank God that I have lived to hear the words from the White House spoken today.