Ensuring Jewish Jerusalem

President Donald Trump made the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 6, that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, producing a mixture of reactions.

Traditional enemies of Israel, including Iran, Turkey, The New York Times, and, surprisingly to a lesser extent, Arab countries, condemned the move. Some in Israel felt it was merely a recognition of facts on the ground, as the Knesset and the majority of Israeli government offices are in Jerusalem.

In truth, the move has tremendous significance.

Several years ago, during a trip to Israel, I asked Yoram Ettinger, an Israeli diplomat and close family friend, why the embassy was not in the part of Jerusalem west of the 1949 Green Line, as this is not disputed territory. He explained to me that the goal when the Palestine Mandate was divided into Israel and Arab territory was for Jerusalem to be an international city.

Events on the ground overtook dreams, and after the War of Independence ended in 1949, Jerusalem was divided into western (Israeli) Jerusalem and eastern (Jordanian) Jerusalem. However, the dream of internationalizing the city did not die.

When Jerusalem was reunited during the 1967 war, interest in internationalizing Jerusalem increased, as Jewish rule of Jerusalem was deemed offensive to the rest of the world, especially the United Nations. The concept of internationalizing Jerusalem is especially attractive to enemies of Israel, as Israel has more resolutions passed against it than the rest of the 200-odd nations in the world combined.

Trump’s announcement ends the dream of internationalizing Jerusalem and thus taking it away from Israel in the name of peace. It also makes dividing Jerusalem more difficult.

Jerusalem has been touted as two capitals of two states. On a practical level, how would such an arrangement work if a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli in one part of Jerusalem (a crime) and fled to another part of Jerusalem where his act was viewed as heroic?

While there may be unrest in the short term, I believe this announcement to be positive because it dashes the dreams of a Jew-free Jerusalem.

Jack L. Arbiser, Atlanta

Courage in Embassy Move

The moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows the Arabs, the Palestinians and the world that Jerusalem is the Jewish capital of Israel. It is a move to force the Palestinians to come to the peace table with the government of Israel if Palestinians want to survive. It shows the courage of President Donald Trump and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to tell the world that Israel under the Likud government is correct in its policies regarding the Palestinians.

It shows that Trump is unafraid to tell the Arabs and the world that their policy of antagonism toward Israel has been wrong and stupid.

What will happen in the Arab world as a result of this pronouncement? Hopefully, nothing.

Cooler heads from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and the Maghreb will prevail with the help of G-d.

Philip Wendkos, Rockville, Md.