The Hypocrisy Between An Embassy for Israel in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, OPT

There are so many examples of the bias at the United Nations in favor of Palestinian Arabs over Israel, that the obvious ones are sometimes overlooked.

Consider the situation of Jerusalem, a holy city for three religions which has had a Jewish majority since the 1860’s.

In trying to find a solution for the hotly contested city, the UN General Assembly voted on November 29, 1947 to place Greater Jerusalem and Greater Bethlehem into a distinct corpus separatum which would neither be part of a Jewish State of Israel nor an Arab State of Palestine. The nations at the UN voted 33 in favor, 13 against and 10 abstentions. (The 13 countries that voted against the partition were mostly the Arab and Muslim countries of Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.) The proposal would never come to pass, as the “corpus separatum” was divided after Israel’s War of Independence with Israel controlling the western half of Jerusalem and the Jordanians controlling all of Greater Bethlehem and the eastern portion of Jerusalem.

Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital city and located its federal government buildings there, but virtually no countries recognized Israel’s assumption of the western part of the city, nor the Jordanian occupation of the eastern part of the city. That was the situation from 1949 to 1967, and continued to be true after the Jordanians attacked Israel again in June 1967 and lost its portion of corpus separatum and the rest of the West Bank.

For decades, countries have continued to withhold their recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, much as they had since Israel founding.


Israeli flag waving in front of the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple Mount
(photo: First.One.Through)

That changed recently.

In December 2017, the United States decided to acknowledge the fact that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, to the chagrin of many other countries. A few weeks later, the UN voted to condemn the United States’ relocation of its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem by a vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions. Many of the 128 countries voiced opinions that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved between the Israelis and Palestinian Authority. Any recognition that either the Israelis or Palestinian Arabs has a superior claim to areas of corpus separatum was to be avoided.

Yet, with no sense of embarrassment or question of hypocrisy, many of those same nations which voted to admonish the US, chose to vote at the UN on November 16, 2018 on several resolutions which referred to East Jerusalem as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

  • Draft resolution “Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories” (document A/C.4/73/L.19) passed by a vote of 154 to 5 with 8 abstentions.
  • The draft resolution titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/73/L.20) passed by a recorded 153 votes in favour to 5 against with 10 abstentions.
  • The draft resolution “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” (document A/C.4/73/L.21) passed by 153 to 6 with 9 abstentions.

If countries want to be consistent in their treatment of Jerusalem and desire for peace, they have a choice: either recognize Israel’s claim to the western part of the city and move their embassies to the western part of Jerusalem just like the United States, OR refuse to call “East Jerusalem” part of “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Any country refusing to move its embassy for Israel to Jerusalem while simultaneously calling the eastern part of Jerusalem part of “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is spitting in the face of Israel and rejecting participating in the peace process.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Abbas’s Harmful East Jerusalem Fantasy

Western Jerusalem’s U.S. Consulate and Embassy

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

Maybe Truman Should Not Have Recognized Israel

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

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Western Jerusalem’s U.S. Consulate and Embassy

The United States has had a consulate in the western part of Jerusalem for decades, despite the “controversial” and “disputed” nature of the city which had been planned as an independent “corpus separatum” together with Bethlehem in the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947. The U.S. Consulate did not provide any services to Israel, but existed just to provide services to Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza, for items such as visas.

Israel never complained about the U.S. operations for Palestinians sitting squarely in Israel’s capital. For decades Israel remained silent at the insult.


U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

But Israel would show its great appreciation to the the United States when President Donald Trump announced the intention of the U.S. to recognize the reality of Jerusalem serving as Israel’s capital, and plans to move the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The U.S. opened the embassy in May 2018, and just yesterday, announced plans to fold the services of the U.S. consulate into the new embassy building, and closing the current consulate location.

The Palestinians went crazy. As it did when the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority objected to the closing of the U.S. Consulate office.

Their hypocrisy never dawned on them.

  • For decades the U.S. consulate sat in Jerusalem serving Palestinians, however, the Palestinians went berserk when the U.S. similarly moved its embassy for Israel to Jerusalem. Is a U.S. presence in Jerusalem only OK for the Palestinians?
  • The Palestinian Authority claims the eastern part of Jerusalem as its capital, but accepted the existence of the U.S. consulate for Palestinian Arabs in WESTERN Jerusalem. Is the Palestinian Authority laying claim to the western part of Jerusalem too?

For too long, the U.S. showed too much deference to the Palestinian Arabs’ sensitivities while it snubbed Israel, but as Israel was so reliant on the United States, Jerusalem suffered the indignities in silence. However, times have changed and Israel can now openly thank President Trump for treating the country with the respect of a sovereign nation, a thriving democracy and true American ally.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Corpus Separatum Ended Forever in 1995

Maybe Truman Should Not Have Recognized Israel

NY Times Cannot Even be Even-Handed When Describing “No Man’s Land”

Is Your Capital Central to Your Country?

Religious Countries Respond to Israel’s Jerusalem

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

The Palestinian State I Oppose

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I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The United States officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017. Several countries have made a variety of arguments as to why they have not – and will not – similarly recognize Israel’s capital city.

Some countries note that Israel’s action on July 30, 1980 in which it declared that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel,” was declared illegal by the United Nations Security Council.

Did countries recognize Jerusalem the day before on July 29, 1980? No.

Some countries say that they have not recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because the “acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible,” so they cannot recognize the eastern half of Jerusalem that was held by Jordan before the Six Day War of June 5 – June 10, 1967.

Did countries recognize the western portion of Jerusalem before the war on June 4, 1967? No.

How is it that so few countries EVER officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, going back to the end of the war of independence? There was no controversy related to eastern Jerusalem during those 18 years until the Jordanians attacked Israel in June 1967, and lost the territory that they had illegally annexed.

Let’s be candid. The issue surrounding Jerusalem has always been about money, in particular, the Suez Canal in Egypt and the Arab world’s enormous oil wealth. Today, it continues to be trade, albeit it is much less important to the global economies than it was decades ago.

The excuse about the eastern half of Jerusalem which includes Muslim holy sites is a fig leaf covering the world’s lust for Arab money, from 1948 until today.


A view of the Old City of Jerusalem from Mt. Scopus
(photo: First.One.Through)

And the fig leaf is porous.

Countries already recognize the western half of Jerusalem as being an integral part of Israel. Further, many world leaders (including US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush) came to Israel’s capital and addressed the parliament in Jerusalem. They recognized Jerusalem both as part of Israel and de facto as its capital.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel in March 2008 spoke at the Israeli Knesset. So when Merkel now states that “the status of Jerusalem is to be resolved in the framework of a two-state solution,” she unashamedly plays out the farce. Germany DOES recognize the western part of Jerusalem as part of Israel and as its functioning capital, but does not want to do it in an “official” capacity as it believes that withholding such recognition might enrich Germany through better relations and economic trading with the dozens of Arab and Muslim countries, and minimize the terrorism in Germany from Islamic extremists. As that seems a bit cold, Merkel put forward the red herring of seeking peace, as if recognizing reality somehow harms peace.

Let’s be clear: most of the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital already. The farce of countries not “officially” recognizing Jerusalem is positioned as a prod that pushes Israel towards a peace agreement. But it is nothing of the sort. It is a calculated trade-off between the dignity of the citizens of Israel on one hand, against the commercial self-interest of trading with Arab countries on the other. It is therefore appropriate for Israel to rethink its own trading policies with countries which have no qualms in humiliating it on the global stage.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Religious Countries Respond to Israel’s Jerusalem

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Battle for Jerusalem

“East Jerusalem” – the 0.5% Molehill

Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

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The “Diplomatic Settler”

The New York Times has a Jew problem, or more specifically, a huge problem with any Jews living in parts of the “Arab Middle East.”

In a March 8, 2018 article called “No Man’s Land: New U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem May Lie Partly Outside Israel,” the Times came up with a new term that was both meaningless and said much about how the liberal paper thinks of Jews living east of the 1949 Armistice Lines.

In describing the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy to an area in Jerusalem that possibly partially sat in the ‘No Man’s Land’ that existed between 1949 and 1967, the paper wrote:

“The dispute could turn the American ambassador, David M. Friedman, an avid supporter of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, into a new kind of diplomatic settler himself.”

That’s quite a phrase, “diplomatic settler.” It’s also completely nonsensical. U.S. ambassadors are U.S. citizens, not Israeli. How can an American be a settler? Simply by being Jewish?

There was a time that a “settler” meant any Israeli that moved into a new development over the Green Line in Judea & Samaria / the West Bank. The physical new town was known as a “settlement” and the inhabitants were known as “settlers.” The homes defined the people.

Over time, a pro-Palestinian narrative took hold in much of the world which inverted that formula. For them, the people (settlers) define the homes (settlements). Specifically, any Israeli Jew that lives over the invisible Green Line is known as a settler. (This is in sharp contrast to Israeli Muslims – like the thousands of Arabs in eastern Jerusalem that have taken Israeli citizenship – that are never considered “settlers.”) Presumably, the rationale for focusing on people is based on a very broad reading of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that Israel’s policies enabling Jews to live in the land that it took from Jordan in 1967 is effectively a “transfer of population,” possibly runs counter to that international law.

But The New York Times moved the definition of a settler yet again, in a giant anti-Semitic leap.

For anti-Zionists like the New York Times, ANY Jew, regardless of citizenship should be considered a settler if they live east of the Green Line. Hence the U.S. ambassador to Israel would become a “diplomatic settler,” simply because he’s Jewish. If the U.S. Ambassador to Israel were Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or any other religion, presumably the diplomatic settler moniker wouldn’t stick.

This new approach could lead to all sorts of interesting titles.

  • “Tourist Settler:”  A foreign Jewish traveler visiting Bethlehem and staying overnight
  • “Businessman Settler:” Any Jewish traveler doing business in Jericho who keeps an apartment in the city
  • “Student Settler.” A foreign Jew studying in the West Bank

What would happen if the United States decided to recognize a State of Palestine along the lines agreed to thus far between the principles, in Gaza and Area A of the West Bank, and established a U.S. embassy in Bethlehem. If that U.S. ambassador to Palestine was Jewish, I guess the Times would also label him a “Diplomatic Settler.” Only a non-Jewish diplomat could avoid having such title, and not be branded a colonialist interloper.

It has long been clear that Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic people on the planet and that the leaders of the Palestinian Authority desire a new country free of any Israeli Jews. How refreshing to learn that the alt-left similarly endorses a completely Jew-free land. Even of American Jewish diplomats.


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times Cannot Even be Even-Handed When Describing “No Man’s Land”

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

The anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

The Battle for Jerusalem

FirstOneThrough music videos:

Judea & Samaria (music by the Foo Fighters)

The 1967 Borders (music by The Kinks)

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NY Times Cannot Even be Even-Handed When Describing “No Man’s Land”

On March 8, 2018, Isabel Kershner wrote an article for the New York Times called “No Man’s Land: New U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem May Lie Partly Outside Israel.” The article described that the location of the U.S. embassy would partially lie outside of Israel’s 1949 Armistice Lines with Jordan in an area known at the time as the “No Man’s Land.” It attempted to explain the terminology through a history lesson about the area.

But being the New York Times, the history would be incomplete and distorted.

Consider the opening of the description:

“No Man’s Land encompasses the area between the armistice lines drawn at the end of the 1948-9 war and was claimed by Jordan and Israel. Israel won full control of it in the 1967 war, so the United Nations and much of the world consider it occupied territory.”

As the NY Times does at every occasion, it describes Israel’s administration of Judea and Samaria with a statement that the world does not recognize Israel’s claim and considers the land “occupied territory.” Yet the Times will never print – even here in an article meant to clarify the nature of the land – that Jordan’s claim on the entirety of the West Bank/Judea and Samaria was never considered valid.

The omissions would continue.

Kershner wrote that she would give some clarity to the nature of the land:

“After the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, Israel signed an armistice agreement with Jordan, which controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The sides demarcated the armistice line on a map in grease pencil. Where they did not agree they drew their own lines staking out maximalist positions – the Israelis in green, as far as possible to the east, the Jordanians in red, to the west.

The disputed enclaves, called the ‘areas between the lines,’ were under neither party’s control and came to be known as No Man’s Land.”

Note the many problems of the first sentence. It states that no party is to blame for the 1948 war. A person would never know that the armies of five Arab countries invaded Israel at its creation by the first half of the sentence. The second half would lead a reader to conclude that the Jordanians naturally had controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is deeply flawed. The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, as today’s Jordan was known back in 1948, invaded and illegally annexed Judea and Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem. To state that Jordan simply “controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” makes that illegal seizure seem normative and historic. It was neither. It was an invasion in an offensive war to destroy Israel.

The problems in the “historical unpacking” would continue:

“After 1949, both Israel and Jordan claimed the territory, holding that its status would be determined in an eventual agreement. When the 1967 war broke out, the Jordanian and Israeli armies fought over it.”

The 1967 war didn’t simply break out. Jordan attacked Israel first (again), after Israel repeatedly told the Jordanians to not initiate a war. The point is not a subtle one, as the laws regarding the seizure of land in a war are arguably not the same in a defensive war as an offensive war. Especially when the party that initiated the hostilities (Jordan) had zero claim to the land they occupied (all of the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the No Man’s Land!)

The article would also not mention anywhere that Israel formally annexed the entirety of the eastern portion of Jerusalem – including No Man’s Land – in 1980. How could any background on the area omit such a detail?

Further, Jordan gave up any claim to the area in July 1988. How could the article neglect to mention that small tidbit?

In short, the article focused squarely on Israel’s claim to a part of Jerusalem counter to a Jordanian claim that the paper wrote about as a historical reality. In truth, the Jordanians NEVER had an legal claim to any of the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem, and rescinded the false claim to that land 30 years ago.

Jerusalem was divided for roughly 19 years of its 4000 year history, from 1948 to 1967. But the New York Times will continue to try to slice and divide Judaism’s holiest city at every opportunity to minimize the Jewish State’s ties to its capital.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

The anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

The Battle for Jerusalem

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Corpus Separatum Ended Forever in 1995

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance
of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense
January 9, 1776

Some political pretend-to-know-it-all pundits are taking to the airwaves to decry President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. They have noted that Jerusalem is too sensitive a topic for the United States to endorse without approval from the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim and Arab world. They are incensed that Trump has abandoned common practice of past presidents these last decades.

But they are wrong. The issue of Jerusalem was settled in 1995, and not just by the US Congress, but by the Palestinian Authority itself.

The 1947 Plan

The United Nations wanted to reserve the “Holy Basin” of religious sites of the three monotheistic faiths into a “corpus separatum,” an international zone that would not be part of either a Jewish State (which would have a minority of Arabs) nor of an Arab one (which would have a minority of Jews). This area included greater Jerusalem and greater Bethlehem.

Annex B of UN 1947 Peace Plan showing Corpus Separatum

The Arabs of Palestine and the greater Arab world rejected the plan, while the Jews of Palestine and many countries at the United Nations supported the plan.

It would never go into effect.

1948-1949 Israel’s War of Independence

As soon as Israel declared itself an independent country in May 1948 when the British ended their mandate, armies from five Arab countries invaded Israel. At war’s end, Israel took control of the western part of Jerusalem while Jordan took control of the eastern half of Jerusalem and all of greater Bethlehem and the West Bank.

Corpus separatum divided into
Jordanian area in white and Israeli area in blue
The Jordanians and Israelis would sign an Armistice Agreement in 1949 establishing the contours of non-belligerency, but not peace. That line became known as the “Green Line.” The countries of the world recognized Israel’s borders west of the Green Line, but did not recognize the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

While the world recognized the expanded borders of Israel beyond that proposed in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, it would not recognize the western half of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in the hopes that peace could be established with inclusion of aspects of corpus separatum in a peace agreement.

Things moved in the opposite direction.

The Jordanians expelled all Jews from their section of corpus separatum and forbade the entry of Jews into the Old City. They would offer citizenship to all Arabs who lived in the area, and specifically exclude any Jews from obtaining Jordanian citizenship in 1954.

From 1967 to 1995

In June 1967, the Jordanians (and West Bank Palestinian Arabs since they had taken Jordanian citizenship), attacked Israel again and lost all of the land they had illegally annexed including the eastern portion of corpus separatum. Israel rescinded the ban on Jews living and visiting their holiest city of Jerusalem and tore down the barbed wire that had split the city in two. It also enabled all Arabs who wanted to obtain Israeli citizenship to apply. Thousands of Arabs have done so.

By 1980, Israel had defined new borders for Jerusalem which excluded the southern portion of corpus separatum around Bethlehem, and declared Jerusalem “complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

Some countries moved their embassies to Jerusalem in the wake of the announcement, such as Costa Rica in 1982 and El Salvador in 1984, in the hope of winning political and economic support from Israel. However, both countries moved their embassies to Tel Aviv in 2006, in the hopes of establishing stronger relationships with the Muslim and Arab world.

Oslo II Accords of 1995

The Israelis and Palestinian Arabs reached an agreement to begin a peace process in 1993. Two years later, in September 1995, they signed the Oslo II agreements. Those agreements put the nails in the coffin for the concept of an international body overseeing corpus separatum.

First, the Palestinian Authority recognized that Israel controlled Jerusalem. Any decisions that happened with Jerusalem would be done in conjunction with Israel. This is a far cry from what people see and read today, where everything that Israel does in Jerusalem is described as illegal and subject to condemnation at the United Nations Security Council.

Further, the PA only labeled Jewish towns in Gaza and the West Bank as “settlements.” Jews living in Jerusalem were specifically excluded from being labeled as settlers. Today, acting-President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas cannot blink his eyes without calling Jews in the Old City as “right-wing settlers” and “colonialists,” even though the last agreement signed by both Israel and the PA clearly stated that they were not settlers.

Most significantly, the PA and Israelis agreed to begin to chop up the corpus separatum. The concept that it would be an international city was dismissed, as the Holy Basin would be divided between the two parties. This began in practice shortly after the Oslo II Accords were signed, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed over control of Bethlehem to the PA in December 1995.

The United States was supportive of these moves. As part of the effort to move the parties along, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in October 1995. The Act focused just on Jerusalem – half of corpus separatum, as Bethlehem was being transferred by Israel to the Palestinian Arabs – stating “it to be U.S. policy that:

(1) Jerusalem remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious group are protected;

(2) Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

(3) the U.S. Embassy in Israel be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.”

The Act did allow the US president to waive the move of the embassy every six months, and for over 20 years, US presidents did just that:

“Authorizes the President to suspend for six months (with possible subsequent six-month extensions) the 50 percent limitation on the obligation of funds with respect to the opening of the Embassy if he determines and reports to the Congress that a suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

That ended in 2017.

The US Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel in 2017

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump saidJerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries…. we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.

The reality of Israel’s choice of Jerusalem as its capital had never been in dispute. People questioned US support of that choice. Many key components of that decision were clear:

  • The US and many countries recognized Israel’s sovereignty over western Jerusalem in 1949
  • The Palestinian Authority and Israel recognized Israel’s control of Jerusalem and the PA’s control over Bethlehem in 1995
  • The US Congress declared that “Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel,” in 1995

But legal scholars debated whether Congress had the ability to make such determination, as only the executive branch had constitutional authority to set foreign policy. That question ceased with Trump’s declaration.

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong,…”

Despite most of the world recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over western Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority control over Bethlehem, many continued to contort themselves as to why they did not move their embassies to Jerusalem.

  • Countries contend that the 1947 UN Partition Plan with corpus separatum continued to have merit, even though the principle parties had moved past that formula many years ago.
  • Countries defend their refusal to move their embassies to Jerusalem because the Arabs do not recognize any claim of Israel to Jerusalem. But the Palestinian Authority has not officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem any more than Tel Aviv. Therefore, how can the location of the embassy have more credibility in Tel Aviv than Jerusalem?
  • Countries believe that Jerusalem is matter for the Israelis and Palestinian Authority to determine, but Trump said the exact same while announcing the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. One does not preclude the other.

A great American patriot, Thomas Paine, pointed out that people have a tendency to be lulled into the belief that a status quo is a proper course of action. They come blinded to the wrong and comfortable with its stench. They will even contrive reasons to rationalize the offense.

Both reason and time have demonstrated that the path to peace does not reside either in minds that deny the truth or hearts that curse the obvious. Israel’s capital is Jerusalem and should be the home of all foreign embassies.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

A “Viable” Palestinian State

First.One.Through videos:

The Green Line (music by The Kinks)

The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

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An Orthodox Rabbi at the Capitol

It has been several decades since any rabbi delivered a prayer at a presidential inauguration, the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1985 being the last one. In Reagan’s and each of the prior events, the prayer was delivered by a rabbi from the Reform or Conservative movements. In 2017, at the swearing in of President Donald Trump, an Orthodox rabbi finally took the stage.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, is a well-known rabbi on the national and international stage, as dean and founder of the Simon Weisenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance. He also founded Moriah Films which has won two Academy Awards. His credentials in combatting hatred and in educating the world about the evils of the Holocaust are beyond reproach.

hier-inauguration

Why did Trump invite a rabbi when Obama, the Bushes and Clinton did not do so? Why invite an Orthodox rabbi, the smallest of the Jewish denominations?

A major factor to consider must be that Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her entire family are Jewish. And Orthodox.

Trump also hails from New York City and built his business in the real estate industry, where many Jews live and work. He has gotten to know many Jews – and Orthodox ones in particular- over many years. That is in sharp contrast to past presidents who were lifelong politicians, a profession with fewer Orthodox Jews. 

The point that I will add here is that it should not be a surprise that the first party to include an Orthodox rabbi in one of the greatest of human occasions – the peaceful transfer of power of the most powerful nation in the world – was the Republican party.

Orthodox Jews are Mostly Republican

The Pew Research group did a comprehensive survey of American Jews in 2013, and published the results in August 2015. The survey found that “American Jews tend to be more highly educated and politically liberal than the U.S. public as a whole,” but one group did not fit that pattern: the Orthodox, which are 57% Republican-leaning.

“Unlike most other American Jews, Orthodox Jews tend to identify as Republicans and take conservative positions on social issues such as homosexuality. On average, they also are more religiously committed and much younger than other U.S. Jews, and they have bigger families.

“…the median age of Orthodox adults (40 years old) is fully a decade younger than the median age of other Jewish adults (52). Despite being younger, more than two-thirds of Orthodox adults are married (69%), compared with about half of other Jewish adults (49%), and the Orthodox are much more likely to have minor children living in their household. On average, the Orthodox get married younger and bear at least twice as many children as other Jews (4.1 vs. 1.7 children ever born to adults ages 40-59).

“…in a few ways, Orthodox Jews more closely resemble white evangelical Protestants than they resemble other U.S. Jews. For example, similarly large majorities of Orthodox Jews (83%) and white evangelicals (86%) say that religion is very important in their lives, while only about one-fifth of other Jewish Americans (20%) say the same. Roughly three-quarters of both Orthodox Jews (74%) and white evangelicals (75%) report that they attend religious services at least once a month. And eight-in-ten or more Orthodox Jews (84%) and white evangelicals (82%) say that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God – more than twice the share of other American Jews (35%) who express this belief.”

So while Orthodox Jews only make up about 10% of the 5.3 million American Jews, they are the fastest growing denomination by far. The implication is that even as Democrats point to the growth of the non-white population in the USA as favoring the Democrats, within the Jewish minority, the Republicans hold an advantage.

The Address

Rabbi Hier spoke for just two minutes after President Trump was inaugurated. In his remarks he recited a passage from Psalm 137: “By the rivers of Babylon we wept as we remembered Zion… If I forget thee o’ Jerusalem may my right hand forget its skill.” It was an interesting choice of quotes, as the Obama Administration let the area of Babylon – in today’s Iraq – fall into an Islamic jihadist war zone, and neighboring Iran have a pathway to nuclear weapons. In regards to Jerusalem, Obama abandoned Israel at the United Nations, letting a motion pass that declared that the eastern half of Jerusalem which houses the Jewish Temple Mount and all of the West Bank were illegally controlled by Israel.

Conversely, the Trump administration has broken with Obama’s view that Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory, and has vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is a campaign promise that many presidents have made only to reverse course once they assumed office, however, it would appear that Trump is likely to follow through with his pledge.

Did Hier deliberately use the quote to voice the displeasure of the pro-Israel community with Obama? As encouragement to Trump to honor his pledge to Jerusalem?


It had been over 30 years since a rabbi was invited to give a blessing at the presidential inauguration. While it was a special moment for all Jews to celebrate, many liberal Jews tried to petition Hier to withdraw as they disliked Trump’s stated policies. It was a shame that in the divisive election campaign between Democrats and Republicans, Jews could not pause to appreciate the acknowledgment and invitation that was extended to their small community.


Related First.One.Through articles:

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

“Jews as a Class”