Rabbi Jim Rosenberg’s column initially and eloquently itemizes the many reasons Jerusalem rightfully occupies a central place in the Jewish psyche (both historically and personally) since King David 3,000 years ago made Jerusalem the capital of the united monarchy of Judah and Israel.
However, near the end of his column and after presenting all the Jewish ties to this ancient/modern city, he goes on to deride President Trump’s recent decision to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 2020. Why? According to him we are not the only people who consider the city sacred. Now he continues, the U.S. cannot be an honest broker in any “peace process.”
It is almost 10 years since the Palestinians sat down with Israelis to negotiate peace. If there were talks to take place in the near future, removing Jerusalem from the table would not be the impediment to achieving an agreement. They have had numerous opportunities over many years to sit and negotiate when Jerusalem WAS on the table.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the holy capital of a new state. For centuries they have had their more important holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Jerusalem is our only holy city. Ramallah is the natural capital of a proposed Palestinian state. Let’s not forget when the Jordanians held East Jerusalem, Jews could not worship at the Western Wall. Jewish gravestones were used for paving roads and building latrines. The Jordanians destroyed every bit of Jewish living that existed in the “Old City.” Jerusalem is not negotiable. Taking it off the table makes the U.S. a more honest broker.
In contrast, members of ALL faiths since 1967, have had free access to their holy sites. Most inhabitants are prospering. Arabs and non-Jews from around the world come to take advantage of Israeli institutions like Hebrew University, Hadassah hospital and everything else a great city offers. Jerusalem rightfully belongs to her caretakers, the Jewish people.