Embassy Questions

The President’s choice to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is now a reality.  Twenty years ago it was voted affirmatively by Congress but every 6 months, the then-President could postpone the move for 6 months.  This postponing took place some 40 times.

Why all the postponing?  Simply because there were constant threats from the Arab world.  There were threats of breaking ties.  Threats of calling off the peace process.  Threats of intifada and terrorism.  In other words, all the of the threats that Arab world makes whenever the United States does something or says something.

The capital of Israel is Jerusalem.  It has been for 3000 years.  Nothing can change that.  Of course, today, there are different political winds blowing and taking the chance to move the Embassy may or may not have been a good idea.  The voices opposing and condoning the move both have points and there are good points on both sides.

The Reform Movement has praised the move, in a fashion.  The official statement says, ‘…Yet while we share the President’s belief that the U.S. Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process…”  (You can read the whole statement here).  

Opponents of the move might say that even though there is no real peace plan at the moment this move might close the door on one and, if that happens, Israel becomes the inheritors of 300,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem with all the problems that entails.

Proponents of the move simply ask, ‘What peace process?’

Both sides are right.  And both sides are wrong.

We only know one thing for sure.  The move will happen.  There will be ‘days of rage’ and there will be an ocean of ink spilled defending or opposing the move.  But since we only know that it will happen, there is nothing else to know for certain.  There is no end to the questions or the consequences, both good and bad.

The only thing I can do at this time – literally hours after the announcement was made – is remember that Jerusalem is holy soil to billions around the world.  I will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  But, at this moment, I have no idea if it is a wasted prayer or not.