To understand the question of Jerusalem's status, we should first ask ourselves where the capital of Russia is. Everyone knows it's Moscow. That's where the U.S. Embassy, Spaso House, is located. It's in Moscow because Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary, moved the capital from the St. Petersburg of Tsar Peter the Great back to the interior of Russia, to that medieval fortress, the Kremlin.
Does the U.S. State Department think it's odd that our American Embassy is located in the capital city designated by the bloody dictator, Lenin? He was a man who dedicated his life to overthrowing the free world -- including us.
Not odd at all. We never considered not having our embassy in the city first designated by the Soviets as their capital.
Now, let's think about Berlin. Berlin was Germany's capital until May 7, 1945. That's when Nazis surrendered unconditionally to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike was the Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe (SCAPE). Ike's staff actually feared Adolf Hitler might hunker down in a mountain redoubt in Bavaria and it might take years to root him out. But he didn't. He shot himself in his Führerbunker, far beneath the flaming, rubble-strewn streets of Berlin.
Afterward, for fifty years, the peaceful little Rhineland town of Bonn was West Germany's capital. The Federal Republic of Germany, as it was called, became an economic powerhouse and a mainstay of our NATO alliance. Following reunification in 1990, the German parliament (Bundestag) voted to transfer the capital back to Berlin. So, in 1999, Germany's democratic lawmakers returned.
The United States Embassy to Germany, of course, dutifully packed up and carted everything to Berlin. We never thought of not doing so.
So, what's up with Jerusalem? Jerusalem has been Israel's capital since Bible times. All over the world, for three thousand years, Jews have prayed to remember Jerusalem. The Pslamist wrote: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." (Ps. 137:5-6)
Jerusalem was a great capital city a thousand years before Paris, before London, and certainly before Washington was thus dignified. Yet, Jerusalem is not where the U.S. Embassy to Israel is located. That's in Tel Aviv. And if your American child is blessed enough to be born in this Holy City, her birth certificate will read "Jerusalem," yes, but not Jerusalem, Israel.
This is because the Obama administration does not want to antagonize the Arabs. The Arabs deny the existence of Israel. Their rejection of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a key part of their stony negotiating stance. To appease them, Mr. Obama goes the extra mile.
President Obama went to Egypt two years ago this month. He gave a famous speech in which he "reached out to the Muslim world."
Since that speech, the authoritarian Egyptian ruler, Hosni Mubarak, has been overthrown. His shaky thirty-year peace with Israel is evaporating, like water in the desert. Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar Sadat, won a Nobel Peace Prize for making that peace pact with Israel. He was assassinated in broad daylight in 1981 for doing so.
So far, the Muslim Brotherhood is the only group to benefit from the Obama outreach to Muslims. The "Arab Spring" in which his administration places such great stock is bringing them to power in Egypt and possibly Libya, too. Still, President Obama wouldn't dream of not sending the U.S. ambassador to Cairo, in Egypt.
Obama policy in the Mideast is a barren fig tree. It has yielded nothing. It's time to try something different: Let's tell the Arabs that the United States' Embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem. And all birth certificates for Americans born in that ancient capital city will henceforth read, Jerusalem, Israel.
The President should tell the worldwide Muslim community that Israel has taken risks for peace, only to be rewarded with renewed terrorist attacks. By moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the president will show that he is sincere in his determination to stand by Israel in her hour of need. President Obama should appreciate the importance of this gesture; after all, his own birth certificate says: "Honolulu, Hawaii." He knows why these things matter.
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