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Move the [U.S.] Embassy to Jerusalem

December 7, 2017

* ‘Jerusalem IS Israel’s capital’: I will move our embassy there AND make peace with the Palestinians says Trump as he defies the world’s warning he will set the Middle East on fire with dramatic change of policy
* Jerusalem 101: Why President Trump’s new policy is such a big deal  



In order to test whether a peace settlement is possible between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. embassy must be relocated to Jerusalem as soon as possible. Close to 25 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, it appears that Israel and the PA are no closer to peace. It is high time that the U.S. takes a different path to test whether the PA is ready to make true peace with Israel or whether this long-winded peace process is no more than a seemingly endless charade.

Israel has repeatedly taken actions in its quest for peace, including multiple transfers of territorial control in the West Bank, total abandonment of Gaza, and a 10-month long building freeze. Little, if any, good has come of it. The Palestinian Authority instead was involved in a murderous intifada against Israel that claimed the lives of roughly 1,000 Israelis, as well as frequent terrorist attacks over the years. The PA also actively seeks a unity pact with the Hamas terrorist organization, and has consistently been involved in incitement to murder and attack Israelis and Jews in all forms of the Palestinian media. This is reminiscent of the verse, “I am peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalms 120:7)

In addition, the PA and Mahmoud Abbas have refused to even make the most basic of gestures critical to any peace deal. The Palestinian Authority has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and even threatened that if the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (even if that recognition is limited to part of Jerusalem) it would amount to a “complete destruction of the peace process.”

If the U.S. seeks to test the feasibility of the peace process, it must therefore move the embassy to Jerusalem and not hold itself captive to terroristic threats of widespread violence made by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Instead, President Trump should refuse to maintain a decades-old mentality of subservience to threats of radical Islamic terrorism. It is immoral for the world’s #1 superpower to allow itself to be swayed by terroristic threats. Such behavior by the U.S. does nothing to discourage terrorism; on the contrary, it implicitly rewards terrorism by demonstrating that threats of terrorism achieve results.

President Trump demonstrated leadership rarely seen in recent history by delivering a historic speech to leaders of Islamic countries in Saudi Arabia calling for the total defeat of radical Islamic terrorism. He is right.

It is those people and organizations that support terrorism that have prevented Israel from being able to make a legitimate peace with the PA — and continue to prevent this. In order for any semblance of enduring peace to exist, the Palestinian leadership must choose to reject terrorism and incitement to terrorism. This is the obvious true roadblock to peace.

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as the U.S. finally exerting its influence in a constructive way and sends a message that terrorism will no longer be rewarded. The U.S. should make clear that the Palestinian Authority must demonstrate true leadership and prevent any acts of violence in the wake of these U.S. moves.

The Taylor Force Act is critically important because it ends all U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority unless the PA stops all stipends to terrorists and their families, publicly condemns terrorism and works to bring the perpetrators to justice. This Act must be quickly passed by the House and Senate and signed into law to further encourage the PA to stop all terrorism, funding of terrorism, and incitement to terrorism.

According to Yossi Kuperwasser of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Palestinian Authority allocated approximately $300 million to terrorists and their families in 2016, further fueling terrorism. This translates into about 30% of total annual foreign aid from all donors to the PA.

According to Kuperwasser:

Legally, the payments of salaries to terrorists stand in sharp contrast to the Oslo agreements, according to which the PLO directly and the PA through the PLO have committed themselves to stop terror and to refrain from encouraging terror. It is also in stark contradiction to international conventions on counterterrorism and to the laws of most donor countries since this is direct support to terrorists affiliated with organizations designated as terrorist organizations by both the United States and the EU. By supporting the PA financially and enabling it to allocate funds to salaries for terrorists, Israel and the donors act in a way that is not only illogical and immoral but also illegal according to their own laws.

The U.S. must make clear that acts of terrorism against Israel, as a U.S. ally, would be viewed as attacks against the U.S. and result in U.S. sanctions of the Palestinian Authority and other punitive measures. The PA would quickly see their resources dry up from other foreign donors and their power fade away.

In contrast, if the PA chooses the path of peace, prevents violence and stops incitement against Israelis and Jews, the U.S. would see an opening toward moving forward with substantive negotiations toward achieving true peace.

It is therefore so important that President Trump chooses to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. That move will serve as a litmus test and help finally determine whether Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are finally ready to truly seek peace or continue violence and face isolation. Radical Islamic terrorism, as President Trump made clear, has no place in the world and threatens all peace-loving nations. Its fight against innocent people around the world and against peace must never again be tolerated.


From → World Watch

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