May of 2018 was a momentous year for both Israel and the United States. It was the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Israel and the fulfillment of a long ago made promise to Israel to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem has historically been a matter of concern which divided the Jews and Arabs. The United Nations wanted the City of Jerusalem made an international city but Israel declared statehood in 1948. The result of the war in 1967 was Israel winning control of East Jerusalem thus unifying the city and considering it the capital. Because of the controversy, The United States and many other countries kept their embassies in Tel Aviv and refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.
Dealing with the situation became an unfulfilled campaign promise during presidential elections. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush vowed to move the United State Embassy to Jerusalem but didn’t follow through. However, in 1995, the US Congress passed a law declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said the US Embassy would be moved there by 1999. BUT, politicians always provide loopholes to explain away their final decisions and this Congressional law gave subsequent presidents six months into office to determine whether our embassy move to Jerusalem was in our best interest. Clinton, Bush and Obama all signed waivers declining the move fearing violence from the Arab world if such a move was implemented.
Regardless of what people may think about President Trump, he keeps campaign promises so we all witnessed an extraordinary event in world history this month.
An interesting aspect to the whole embassy move again showed President Trump’s care for our country. Initially, the cost for building a new embassy would have been expensive to say the least. It came to his attention that the US already owns property in Jerusalem that would adapt perfectly for the new embassy and save the American taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. The first phase of getting the US Embassy in working order was $400,000.
Anyone interested in reading about how Israel came about, EXODUS by Leon Uris is a great read. The characters are fictional but the events are correct and really opens one’s eyes to what went on in the Jewish world from the onset of World War II, Hitler’s horrendous campaign to the Jews, and the beginning of Israel. It is a long read but seems short as you keep wanting to know ‘what comes next’!