Before and after the Trump announcement that Jerusalem would be officially recognized by the U.S. as the capital of the Jewish state, leaders from around the world and pundits on every major news network, with the possible exception of Fox News, were publicly wringing their hands in anguish about the threat this “purely symbolic gesture” poses. It is an irony that none of them realized the depth of the truth their mouths were speaking.
Why are world leaders so traumatized by the administration’s move? What do liberal political pundits fear will happen as a result of President Trump’s action? The answer is straightforward: violence. The State Department issued warnings to employees and their families in Muslim states and in Israel to remain in place and avoid entering Palestinian areas. Good advice. The need for that advice should itself answer the question of why President Trump was right in taking this step now.
For far too many years, Western governments and Western-leaning Arab governments have lived in fear of the violence threatened by Islamic radicals. The great and brave Egyptian peacemaker Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood for making a peace agreement with Israel. The noble urge to make peace has been continually smothered in the Middle East by hatred of Jews, Israel and the West. The heads of state of our European allies and the European Union have made their policies with one eye looking over their shoulder at the threat of violence that comes from a small percentage of their huge Muslim populations.
By being the first major Western country to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move toward opening its embassy in Jerusalem, President Trump has bravely announced that the U.S. will not have its foreign policy decisions dictated by fear of those who would foment violence in order to control us. Our foreign policy will at last be consistent.
President Trump’s declaration symbolizes that his administration has broken with foreign policy rooted in the fear of terrorism. Now let governments and people around the world join hands, without fear of reprisals from radicals, to make peace.
Executive vice president emeritus,
Union for Traditional Judaism