op-ed

It’s Ridiculous That The United States Took So Long To Move Its Israel Embassy To Jerusalem

On Monday, May 14, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaring independence, the United States is moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the nation’s capital, Jerusalem.

It is about time!

I have been working for this moment for decades through the more than two dozen pro-Israel, pro-America and pro-Western civilization organizations in which I am active. We have lobbied. We have debated. We have requested. And we were always put off — until President Donald Trump decided to do the right thing and move the embassy. This move has been a long time coming.

Back in 1995, the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed; this act’s main function was to ensure that the U.S. embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem. And yet, more than 20 years later, we are only now seeing this act come to fruition. Each president until Donald Trump halted the administration of the act; Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama signed waivers every six months to push off the move. But President Trump put his foot down and said that enough was enough.

As a proud Jew, a proud Zionist and a proud American, I could not be more grateful to our president. I cannot wait to see this move and to be there in Israel to celebrate it.

I consider Israel and the United States to be my two homes. Though I live in the United States, I travel to Israel every two months and I am chairman of the American Friends of Likud, and am on the boards of the Citizens for National Security, Americans for a Safe Israel, Bible Lands Museum and the Institute for the Global Study of Antisemitism and Policy.

As a Jew, I know that anti-Semitism is real and that kowtowing to anti-Semitic pressure — as past presidents have done in not moving the embassy — only emboldens bigots. It validates them and spurs them to more egregious actions.

But my gratitude to the president is even more about my identity as an American. The United States of America stands for something big! We Americans stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our deepest held laws and values treasure freedom of thought and action. By moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump is reaffirming our nation’s commitment to these ideals. As the founder of SaveTheWest.com, I see daily the fight our nation is in to preserve the West’s ideals of freedom; moving the embassy is a step in the right direction to protect liberty, democracy and Western values.

Every other country gets to decide what city is its capital; why should Israel be any different? Jerusalem has been Israel’s decided capital since 1948, and yet country after country had chosen to ignore this. When Israel’s government operates out of Jerusalem, why would embassies choose to be in another city? It doesn’t make sense. Imagine if the U.S. embassy in England — along with the embassies of several other large countries — suddenly said it no longer recognized London as the capital and was moving to Manchester. Imagine the outcry. It would be ridiculous.

Thankfully, President Trump is able to see this injustice being done to Israel and is honoring the Holy Land’s sovereignty and self-determination by moving the U.S. embassy.

Also, this move only serves to strengthen ties between the United States and Israel, our closest ally after Great Britain. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and has proved a true ally to us. Israel is the beacon of hope in the Middle East that the United States can count on.

As other nations in the Middle East begin to gain nuclear weapons and foment their hatred of the West, particularly Jews and Christians, it is more important than ever to maintain a strong bond with Israel. At the London Center for Policy Research, a political think tank of which I am also on the board, we have delved deeply into these issues and know that protecting Israel is vital to the United States’ continued success and survival.

Additionally, this move proves yet again that the United States is a bellwether to other nations. After President Trump announced that the embassy would move to Israel’s capital, many other nations began to discuss moving their embassies as well. Paraguay and Guatemala have announced their decisions to move their embassies. Hopefully more nations will follow.

I cannot wait to celebrate this victory —for Israel, for Western values, for democracy and for the United States. I pray that the leaders of other nations will follow in President Trump’s footsteps and realize that to deny a fellow country the right to name its capital is a disrespect and an affront of the highest order. In fact, it is pure anti-Semitism!

Kenneth Abramowitz is the chairman of the American Friends of Likud and is the founder of SaveTheWest.com


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.