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HomeNewsKaren Harradine: Trump and Jerusalem – a brave and moral move

Karen Harradine: Trump and Jerusalem – a brave and moral move


As promised in his election manifesto, Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has committed to moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Islamic world, and Western useful idiots, are complaining that this has destroyed the peace process. What peace process? For decades Israel has been forced to negotiate with those who seek its destruction. Trump’s announcement strengthens the security of the Jewish state.

It is about time that an American president had the courage to do this. I am certain that those Jews who still support the Left and suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome are struggling today to decide if they hate Trump more than they love Israel.

Trump has made some misguided decisions during his presidency but with this symbolic gesture he is right. Jerusalem is of spiritual significance to us Jews and of strategic importance to Israel. Jerusalem is our eternal capital. It always has been. We yearn for it annually at the conclusion of Passover by uttering: ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’.

Israel is our homeland. I dream of going back to the shores of the Mediterranean in the south, the desert sands of the Negev, the northern hilltop city of Kabbalistic Safed and the Kotel where I, as a small child, carefully placed a written prayer into this ancient and holy wall. Israel is where the patriarchs and matriarchs of our faith are buried and where spiritual history and archaeological evidence merge to solidify our claim to our Jewish homeland.

The fact that Israel’s enemies are protesting over Trump’s announcement and the Israeli government is welcoming it shows that this is a brave and moral move on Trump’s behalf. There are warnings that this will complicate the situation in the Middle East. But it actually simplifies it.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state. Trump has called their bluff and shown them to be the hypocrites they really are. Palestinian leaders have no right to talk of peace. They have had numerous opportunities to negotiate and create their own homeland yet have shunned them repeatedly in favour of terrorism against the Jewish state. These stalling tactics show that the Palestinians’ ultimate goal is not peace but the destruction of Israel. Hamas, aligned with Hezbollah and Iran, has clearly stated this in its Charter.

Trump, like most Israelis, has lost patience with the Palestinians and their rejectionism. For if they truly wanted peace they would have accepted Israel’s willingness to concede land.

The Palestinian cause was created by Yasser Arafat and the USSR in the 1960s. Out of this heinous alliance came the blood libel that Zionism is racism. Islamists, aided by Western cowards, have created a war of words and terror against Israel.

And words are powerful. The continuous discourse that the West Bank settlements are illegal seeps into our consciousness unchallenged. But the West Bank is really ‘disputed territories’ won by Israel in a war of self-defence against Arab states in 1967. An inconvenient fact, often ignored by our mainstream media, is that Israel was not the aggressor in this war. Egypt, Syria and Jordan attacked Israel in a failed attempt to annihilate it.
The Palestinians were offered their own state in 2000 but Arafat rejected this and started another intifada. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Despite assurances from Israel’s allies that conceding this territory would lead to peace, Hamas turned Gaza into a war base to launch attacks against Israelis.

Unsurprisingly, Israel is concerned that if it relinquishes control of the West Bank the result will be more Islamist terrorism. Palestinian Authority schools continue to propagate hatred against Israel and Jews. In response to Trump’s announcement Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party has called for a million martyrs to march on Jerusalem. The Palestinian ‘Three Days of Rage’ is also a perverse and violent reaction. Acts such as these lead Israel to question the true motivations of those who profess to be its peace partners.

Syria, Jordan and Lebanon have subjected their Palestinian citizens to deplorable conditions and used them as pawns in their war against Israel while reassuring them that their situation is temporary because one day Israel will be destroyed. Trump’s announcement defies this and confirms that Israel is here to stay. No wonder we are hearing such panicked rhetoric and grandstanding from the Islamic world.

Turkey is threatening to cut ties with Israel but this is no loss. Currently Israel has an uneasy truce with the Sunni states of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in their collective attempt to stave off the war cries of Shia Iran. There are worries that this move by Trump will destroy this delicate alliance. It would be petulant and shortsighted if these countries allowed this to happen. Yet the Saudi King Salman is already warning that it will provoke Muslims around the world.

So I suspect that it would have only been a matter of time before Israel was accused of committing another offence against the Palestinians. The smallest perceived slight can ignite the flames of violence. Israel is a blight on the landscape in the eyes of the Muslim world – a reminder that they have been unable to destroy this tiny bit of the Middle East that belongs to the Jews.

Let us be under no illusions here. Trump’s declaration will lead to bloodshed and violence. But Trump and Israel should not be blamed for this. For it is the raging Palestinians, the cowardly West shrinking in fear of Islamism and Muslim leaders who threaten reprisals, that will be responsible for any loss of life.

Israel, and most of us Jews in the diaspora, are weary now of failed peace negotiations, of blood libels, of terrorist attacks, of wars waged to destroy our homeland. We are tired of being denied our heritage and our right to self-determination. Jews have learnt, historically and painfully, not to rely on the rest of the world for our safety and security. There are only 13million of us left. We will no longer gamble away our lives to please others. I commend Trump for his courageous decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As the great Jewish sage Hillel said, ‘If not now, when?’

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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