Recognising Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel is a policy decision that I can proudly announce that I support.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced a major change in US foreign policy. At the behest of Congress, he recognised that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. This has been a long-standing policy goal ever since the Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 with overwhelming support and to the shame of the executive branch has been wavered by successive presidents until now. The widespread criticism of the announcement shows that not only does the international community not have respect for Israel, but for the American people’s sovereignty over their own foreign policy, preferring that Trump ignore the will of Congress and the American people. The move was widely condemned by many, including, Theresa May, who stated that it was:
Unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region
Similar comments were made from Macron, Merkel, the Pope and the UN.
The US has opened ‘the gates of hell’ says Hamas. Many critics assert that it’s foolish and dangerous to make this declaration and it will increase tension and violence in the region. However, I say why should we cower in the face of savage terrorists who threaten us, who murder innocent women and children, and who make every effort to maximise civilian casualties? Since when did we in the West allow the Hamas to dictate our foreign policy? As the American’s say, we don’t negotiate with terrorists, nor do we allow them to determine the capital of a sovereign state.
In my opinion, it is absurd to suggest that Israel’s capital was not Jerusalem in the first place. Moving forward, any peace talks could not be had without the concession that the Jewish state was entitled to its capital, that was thankfully recaptured and unified in 1967. Moreover, under the Judaic rule, Jerusalem has been secured as a holy place for all religions to practice their faith as they see fit. This is a scenario that seems improbable at best to me if part of Jerusalem is to be ruled by Palestine. It’s not like this has worsened the chances of peace, it is now putting Israel in the strong position of having its claim to a capital backed by the global champion of liberty, and makes it clear to the Palestinian authorities (which are yet to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist) that Israel isn’t going anywhere, and a two-state solution is non-negotiable.
Britain should be following the example of the USA and showing resolve by supporting Israel, a country which has been consistently aligned with us in terms of our secular values and policy, not to mention that it is the only free liberal democracy in the Middle East. Possibly our most important strategic friend in the Middle East, and a vital pseudo-ally (we cannot be officially allied with a state that has unsettled borders). Israel offers an invaluable foothold in a region I believe we need to intervene in as a matter of national security. Dissenters will say that we should stay out of the region, to not pick a side, implying that both Israel and her enemies are on the same moral plane and we have no business being there in the first place. I disagree entirely, Israel is a free socially liberal, tolerant society and it is the only country in the Middle East where being gay is not a crime, where you can practice your religion freely, and where you get a real vote in every election cycle without fail.
In recent years, Israel has been the whipping boy of the left and anti-Semites alike, declaring that anything Israel does in the interest of national security is a war crime. Bizarrely, even reentering Gaza to target rockets aimed at Israeli cities is considered immoral by some. Even absurdly hypocritical and racist claims about Israeli settlements in the West Bank, making it clear that if a Palestinian state is to exist it should be Judenrein, but if a Jewish state is to continue it must wave the flag of pluralism. If the protests from the left when Saddam Hussein was gassing Kurds, terrorising his subjects, attacking neighbouring nations and developing WMD was anywhere near as vociferous as when Jerusalem surgically strikes an empty house with a rocket pad aimed at civilians on top, then maybe they would be more consistent in views, but there is obviously a flagrant bias against the Jewish state.
Criticisms of Israel must be looked at, and obviously, no state is perfect, but the very fact that Israel is held up to these unrealistic standards I believe is because of its moral righteousness. I believe we should all be encouraging other nations to take on the same values of democracy, human rights and freedom within the Middle East as Israel. Declaring that Israel has the right to a capital more intimately linked to its identity than London is to Britain is a good place to start.
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