Steve Kramer

Jerusalem is in Israel

“Jerusalem, Israel” is the latest insult that President Obama’s State Department has inflicted on Israel. Before the president had even returned to Washington from a 6-hour visit to Israel for the funeral of former president, Shimon Peres, the State Dept. “corrected” his destination in the most insulting way.

While the president declaimed only wonderful compliments about the former Israeli statesman, he chose to use phrases from Peres, without benefit of proper context, which vilified Israel. Then, on top of that, the State Dept. went out of its way to disassociate Jerusalem, the Jewish capital since the time of King David (3,000 years ago!), from Israel.

Regarding Jerusalem, Arabs are relative latecomers, not having arrived until the Arab conquests of the 7th century CE. Even then, Jerusalem was never proclaimed an Arab capital. In contrast, since 1,000 BCE the Jews were always resident in the Land – sometimes a remnant but often a large minority – and Diaspora Jews returned in force towards the end of the 19th century to reclaim their homeland.

What is the case for a Palestinian Arab capital in Jerusalem? One can possibly entertain the thought that IF there were a State of Palestine, some city must be its capital, but certainly not the same area that is historically the capital of the existing state of Israel! Let’s remind ourselves that, besides the fact that there has never been an Arab capital in Jerusalem, there has never been a Palestinian state that needed a capital.

The Jordanian control over part of the area of Jerusalem, from 1948-1967, was not recognized and lasted only 19 years, a mere 19 years of Jerusalem’s 3,000 year history. Furthermore, Jerusalem is not the holiest Muslim site, nor is it the most populous Palestinian Arab urban area, not that either one is a necessary attribute of a political capital. The “world” demands Jerusalem be the shared Jewish/Arab capital because … the Arabs demand it. That’s a poor excuse to deny Israel’s sovereignty over Judaism’s most holy city and the location is its most revered site, the Temple Mount.

Barak Ravid, writing in the left-wing Haaretz newspaper (Oct. 5), reported on the State Department’s harsh comments regarding “Israeli settlement expansion. The comments followed President Obama’s speech at the Mt. Herzl cemetary and the nearly contemporaneous Israeli announcement of new housing permits in Shiloh. According to the Talmud, Shiloh was the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant for 369 years and was part of the Kingdom of Israel in the 10th century BCE. The plots to be built upon in present-day Shiloh (population 3,700) are part of the original area of the town, not a new “settlement.”

Ravid: “The U.S. administration published an unusually harsh statement on Wednesday against a plan to build an alternative settlement for residents of the illegal outpost of Amona. [Israel’s High Court determined that the small Amona community of 40 homes was built on private Palestinian Arab land and is to be destroyed.]

The statement, signed by Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the State Department, drew an unusual linkage between the [recent] signing of the [new] defense aid agreement with Israel and criticism of settlement building…

“State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said: ‘We strongly condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to advance a plan that would create a significant new settlement deep in the West Bank.’ Toner also said that, ‘This approval contradicts previous public statements by the Government of Israel that it had no intention of creating new settlements. And this settlement’s location deep in the West Bank [Samaria], far closer to Jordan than to Israel, would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote. The decision to advance the establishment of a new settlement [sic] raises doubts as to the seriousness of Israel’s intentions with respect to the two-state solution.”

What does the State Dept. mean by “far closer to Jordan than to Israel?” How is it possible that a Jewish city dating back thousands of years, located in the Kingdom of Israel, is not inside Israel? The Obama administration can only “strongly condemn” Israel’s home construction because it consistently denies Jewish history in its homeland, in addition to applying condemnation to Israel that it would never apply to other countries with far more relevance.

In diplomatic-speak, “strongly condemns” is probably the harshest admonition ever used. An example of this is, “The United States strongly condemns the barbaric terrorist attacks yesterday in Damascus and Homs, Syria, now claimed by ISIL.” (2/22/16) Homebuilding does not equate to barbaric terrorist attacks.

The US saves its strongest ire for Israel’s home building, while winking at constant Arab terror attacks, from knives and vehicles to bombs and rockets. It views the Middle East through a narrow prism which requires a State of Palestine to rise on land that historically is the homeland of the Jews, which is currently controlled by Israel, which has the best case of any contending parties, legal or otherwise, to rule. Palestinian Arabs are not forbidden in Israel (unlike the proposed racist State of Palestine) but they are required not to attempt to destroy it.

If the proposed State of Palestine were to come to pass, it undoubtedly would be similar to other war-torn Islamist states which murder Arabs, Christians, and other ethnicities by the hundreds of thousands. As a result, millions of refugees are flooding into Europe and other Western countries, constituting a danger to democratic states. Clearly, the obsession with the two-state solution (Israel/Palestine) is significantly flawed and is no solution to this huge Muslim cataclysm.

President Obama has repeatedly disrespected Israel, America’s greatest ally in this war torn region, instead of treating it as the indispensable ally that it is. One hopes that the next president, whichever candidate wins, will reverse America’s glaring decline and project American power throughout the world, while safeguarding its interests, which coincidentally include many of Israel’s interests.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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