What President Trump did on December 6 th was to recognize an historical reality by making
Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel – an act especially important given the efforts of the
Palestinians to delegitimize the Jewish people’s historical connection to the City of David. His
announcement simply acknowledges reality, buries the false assumptions of the old “peace
process”, and puts forth a new approach.

The Palestinians have refused to recognize those basic facts, just as they have refused to
recognize Israel as a Jewish state which is why they are livid over his decision. For them, war
against Israel is not a conflict about the division of land or “settlements” (which, to them,
includes the entire State of Israel). It is a war of extermination based on their refusal to accept
that the Jews have any right to that land whatsoever, and Jerusalem is central to that refusal
which is why they deny the Jews any rights to Jerusalem whatsoever. Such is the Palestinian
mindset and any Arab leader who talks about peace with Israel is, in their view, a traitor. As
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told a crowd of tens of thousands at a rally in Gaza City on
December 14 th celebrating the 30th anniversary of the terror group: "There is no such thing as the
State of Israel, so it cannot have a capital called Jerusalem.”

But the truth is and always has been that Jerusalem cannot be disconnected from the State of
Israel. Trump’s action unambiguously reinforces the historic bond between the Nation of Israel
and Jerusalem and the natural right of the Jewish people for self-determination in their ancestral
homeland. Far from the Israeli presence there being illegal, the Jews are the only people who are
entitled to the city as a matter of international law, historical truth and natural justice. The fact is
Jerusalem appears 669 times in the Old Testament and 142 times in the New Testament and
major Jewish rituals, including the conclusion of the Passover Seder and the Yom Kippur service
end with the age-old affirmation, "Next year in Jerusalem." In the Quran, Jerusalem is not
mentioned even once.

Since King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago, that city has served
as the physical and spiritual capital of the Jewish people. It was in Jerusalem that Jewish
Temples stood, Jewish kings ruled, and Jewish prophets preached and that’s why, from every
corner of the earth, the Jewish people yearned to return to Jerusalem. Moreover, the prime
minister’s office, the Knesset, and nearly all Israeli government offices have been situated in
Jerusalem since Israel declared its independence nearly 70 years ago and for more than 50 years
while under Israeli sovereignty, the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected to
ensure that all religious groups may pray as they wish at Jerusalem’s holy sites. Three of the
world’s major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have all thrived in the city. Today,
more functioning churches, mosques and synagogues exist in the Old City of Jerusalem than
anywhere else in the world.

On the other hand, Mohammed never saw Jerusalem or walked its streets and his Arab followers
didn’t conquer Jerusalem until after his death. Moreover, during the centuries when various
Islamic dynasties controlled Jerusalem, none established Jerusalem as its capital. In addition, neither the PLO’s National Charter nor the Fatah Covenant drafted during Jordanian rule (1948-
1967) even mention Jerusalem, let alone called for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.

Unfortunately, the primary obstacle to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Day 1 has
been and continues to be the Palestinians’ rejection of the right of self-determination for the
Jewish people in their ancient homeland – including Jerusalem – and that is the crux of the
problem and, quite possibly, the reason for Trump’s dramatic change of policy. To undermine
any basis for compromise with Israel, Palestinian leaders flatly deny any ancient Jewish
connection to the land. They claim that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.
Yet their own history belies this claim. In 1929, the Supreme Moslem Council’s publication: "A
Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif," stated on p. 4 that "(The Temple Mount’s) identity with the
site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute." (After 1954, however, all such references to the
biblical Temples disappeared from this publication).  It also flies in the face of historical
evidence such as Flavius Josephus’ The Jewish War written in 75 CE, which is why such claims
are deeply offensive to the Jewish faith.

Although Trump affirmed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he did refrain from calling it
the undivided capital of Israel – suggesting that the US would still support potentially dividing
Jerusalem between the Israelis and the Palestinians as part of any future peace negotiations.
Indeed, he explicitly stated that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty and Jerusalem are
subject to final status negotiations of a future peace agreement between the Palestinians and
Israelis, although Palestinian actions over the decades, unfortunately, suggest that such an
agreement is unlikely to say the least.

For peace to come, the Palestinians must decide that they have more to gain by recognizing
Israel than by perpetuating the conflict until Israel has been annihilated. But that is unlikely to
happen in the foreseeable future. According to a recent study by the Jerusalem Center for Public
Affairs, the Palestinian Authority budget has committed $154 million for salaries of imprisoned
and released terrorists and $192 million for the families of those "martyred" in their war to
murder Israelis and to exterminate Israel, for a total expenditure of $346 million! This figure
amounts to 49.6% of all foreign aid to be received by the Palestinian Authority by the end of
2017, and that is why the US House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act (which
would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if the PA does not halt its payments to convicted
terrorists and their families) on December 5 th – a day before President Trump’s speech
recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

It is abhorrent to think that money from US taxpayers is rewarding Palestinian terrorism, but it’s
hard to conclude otherwise when confronted by these figures and what they mean. The
compensation of Palestinian terrorists by the Palestinian Authority is immoral and
incomprehensible in and of itself, but it clarifies the true motives of the Palestinians and suggests
that they have absolutely no intention or desire to accept Israel’s existence which a two-state
solution, by definition, means.

Truth is, the so-called “peace process” has been effectively dead ever since the late Yasser
Arafat, the then president of the Palestinian Authority, rejected the proposed final settlement at
the Camp David Summit in July 2000. That deal offered him 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, compensation in lieu of the right of return of the Palestinian diaspora, and, most importantly east
Jerusalem. Rather than accept the offer, recognize Israel and end the conflict however, Arafat
decided that the best way to get an even better deal was to promote violence by triggering the
second intifada in September of that same year. Can you imagine the Tibetans, or Kurds, or
Chechens saying "no" if they were offered independence on 95% of the land that they said they
wanted? And yet the Palestinians have said "no" and walked away from negotiations. President
Obama, who supported the Palestinian cause, pleaded with them to negotiate, as did his
Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Yet during Obama’s eight years in office,
PA President Abbas agreed to sit down for only about four hours with the Israelis.

And it gets worse. According to the research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):
"Using media, education, and cultural structures that it controls, the PA has actively promoted
religious hatred, demonization, conspiracy libels, etc. These are packaged to present Israelis and
Jews as endangering Palestinians, Arabs, and all humanity. This ongoing campaign has so
successfully instilled hatred that fighting, murder and even suicide terror against Israelis and
Jews are seen by the majority of Palestinians as justified self-defense and as Allah’s will. The PA
presents Jews as possessing inherently evil traits. Jews are said to be treacherous, corrupt,
deceitful and unfaithful by nature. These Jewish ‘attributes’ and traditions are presented as the
unchangeable nature of Jews. Forgeries and fiction masquerading as history are used to
document and support the libel that Judaism is in essence racist and evil. Jews are said to be
planning and executing heinous crimes, including burning Palestinians in ovens, murder, using
prisoners for Nazi-like experiments, and more. If unchecked, these crimes constitute a mortal
danger, not only to all Muslims and Arabs but to all of humanity…………The PA assigns
responsibility to the Jews for all the problems in the world: Wars, conflicts and civil wars are all
said to be triggered by Jews. Indeed, the oppression suffered by Jews throughout history is
presented as the legitimate response of nations seeking revenge for the injury caused them by the
Jews living among them. The creation of the State of Israel is said to have been a European plot,
in order to be rid of their Jews and save Europe from the evil of Jewish presence in their
countries."

And a 2015 PMW report on the indoctrination of children in the PA revealed that dozens of
schools, sports events and summer camps have been named after terrorists, who are honored as
heroes and held up as role models. The report documents passages in PA schoolbooks teaching
that Muslims must fight Israel and Jews, in accordance with Islamic law, and that Israel’s
existence must be rejected. Children are taught that Israel will eventually be eradicated, and that
Jews – "descendants of apes and pigs" — are cursed by Allah. This is not a human rights
campaign. This is not a movement interested in co-existence.

Taking all this into account, the fact remains that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel is a pragmatic step in the right direction and is totally consistent with U.S. policy
as set forth in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 – a law that passed with overwhelming
bipartisan support – which states unequivocally that America should recognize Jerusalem as
Israel’s capital and that the U.S. embassy should be located there. That Act was overwhelmingly
approved by both the U.S. Senate (93–5) and the House of Representatives (374–37) and both
the Democratic and Republican party platforms have consistently and explicitly acknowledged
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for the past several decades – including most recently in 2016.

Sadly, for nearly seven decades until now, alone among the nations of the world, Israel has been
denied the sovereign right to determine its own capital – the only country in the world to be
denied that right. It was one of the quirks of the ongoing appeasement of Arab countries and the
Islamic world that the U.S. and all other nations kept their embassies in Tel Aviv. Thus, U.S.
recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by President Trump is a positive step and an
important one particularly in the face of Palestinian efforts to delegitimize the Jewish people’s
historical connection to the City of David and especially their denial of the right for Israel to
exist at all.

America has finally done the right thing and Trump’s move is also smart strategically. He has
sent exactly the right signal to Palestinian President Abbas – the longer you delay acceding to
reality, the more you will lose and things will only get worse. Unfortunately, the Palestinians
continue to act as though they will get what they want through rejection, resistance, rage, threats,
blackmail and murder. Terrorism is in fact the main Palestinian mode of negotiation. Their
refusal to accept Israel’s existence has been uncompromising and thus the greatest obstacle to a
true peace. Whatever sympathy one may feel for the Palestinian people themselves, their leaders
are not good-faith negotiating partners and are not likely to become such partners. It is difficult
to negotiate a lasting peace when one side does not want peace at all. If the Palestinians can’t find
a better way to establish their own national identity other than by hating Israel, Zionism and the
Jews, then they’re never going to build a state worth having.

When the uproar finally dies down, the Palestinians will find themselves right where they’ve
been for decades – alone and abandoned. If so, it is possible that recognition of Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel and moving the U.S. embassy there could revitalize the “peace process” by
demonstrating to them that another major opportunity has been missed, that history is moving
forward without them, and that their maximalist claims to Israeli territory are an obstacle to
peace, but if the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and changing the location of the
embassy is enough to block peace talks as they continue to maintain, then we must concede that
a “peace process” was, is and always has been an illusion.