I have know Dawn for many years and follow her weekly letters about her new life in Israel.
Dear family and friends,
I am so proud to be an American and an Israeli. This week has been a time of miracles for Israel. Less than a week before Chanukah is to be celebrated, also known as the "Festival of Miracles", Jerusalem was finally declared the capital of the modern State of Israel. Mazal tov! Jerusalem has been the "undivided " eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people for over 3,000 years.
Although a bi-partisan US Congress enacted the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which provided for the relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Israel's capital of Jerusalem, for over 20 years not one US President complied with the law to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem. That delay of 20+ years did nothing to promote peace in the region. To the contrary, it encouraged the Palestinians to make more and more outrageous demands.
Thank you President Trump for having the cojones to stand up for what is legally and morally correct. He said, "Israel is a sovereign nation, with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital". In fact, all branches of Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including Israel's parliament The Knesset, the Supreme Court, and the residences of the Prime Minister and President of Israel, as well as government buildings and ministries.
It is appropriate that President Trump made his announcement just days before Chanukah. Like in ancient times when some Jews chose to appease their Greek-Syrian oppressors and assimilate into a secular anti-religious Hellenistic lifestyle rather than fight for their freedoms, there will be those today touting appeasement because the Palestinians have threatened violence. What else is new? And like the miracles of Chanukah, it is a miracle that Israel's opposition parties and some of President Trump's greatest foes have joined in praising President Trump for this momentous announcement. Perhaps there will be peace after all.
For years the slogan "land for peace" has been nothing other than a form of appeasement to a people who have no intention of making peace with Israel. Yet despite attempts by many left wing Israeli politicians to appease the Palestinians by complying with most of their demands such as land transfers, unilateral prisoner exchanges, and sometimes perilous security risks, "most" is not enough for them. The Palestinians want it "all" or they resort to violence. Appeasement is no solution and only encourages further oppression and violence. A perfect example was when England's Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler, yemach shemo, and that led to World War II.
Seventy years ago when US President Harry Truman was warned not to recognize the modern state of Israel, there were also Arab threats of violence, but he stood up for Israel. Despite the threatened and actual violence, like the miracles of Chanukah, the State of Israel survived the wars against it. Israel will survive this too.
Hamas claimed the other day that recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would lead to an "escalation" of the "Jerusalem intifada". That in itself is an admission that there is an intifada in existence already. And Abbas' Fatah recently signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. What other than violence can be expected from a Palestinian culture that glorifies terrorists, pays terrorists and their families to commit terror, teaches their children hatred and violence in schools, summer camps , on TV and in books and magazines, and incites their people to kill and maim innocent Israeli children sleeping in their beds?
Every year at the end of our Passover Seder and at the end of the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, Jews throughout the world say, "Next year in Jerusalem". That is why it is absurd when Palestinians and the UN claim Jews have no connection to Jerusalem. In fact, Israel's President Rivlin is a 7th generation Jerusalemite. Happy Chanukah.
L'hitraot. Shachar (Dawn)