This are two pictures from Israel today as America opens its Embassy in Jerusalem.
In December 2017, The Washington Post reminded us:
“Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and a deep source of our pride,” Rabin said at an event recognizing the 3,000th year of the city’s existence.
“We differ in our opinions, left and right,” he said as the speech concluded. “We disagree on the means and the objective. In Israel, we all agree on one issue: the wholeness of Jerusalem, the continuation of its existence as capital of the State of Israel. There are no two Jerusalems. There is only one Jerusalem. For us, Jerusalem is not subject to compromise, and there is no peace without Jerusalem.”
That speech was given Oct. 25, 1995. On Nov. 4, a far-right student fatally shot him.
The evening before his speech, the Congress of the United States passed a law echoing Rabin’s assertions about the city. Spurred by the desire to act before Rabin’s visit, the House and Senate passed a bill called the “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” which formally recognized the city as the country’s capital and called for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be moved there from Tel Aviv by 1999. Support for the bill was overwhelming. It passed the Senate by a 93 to 5 vote, with four Republicans and one Democrat voting no. It passed the House 374 to 37, with 153 Democrats joining most of the new Republican majority that had swept into power in 1994. (the underline is mine)
So why wasn’t it done? The article explains:
The bill was not signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Clinton had made an early effort to craft a new peace agreement in the Middle East, forging the Oslo accords between Israel and Palestinians, signed in 1993 and September 1995. (Rabin’s support for the accords was apparently one of the things that motivated his assassin.) The Embassy Act, Clinton said in a statement, “could hinder the peace process. I will not let this happen and will use the legislation’s waiver authority to avoid damage to the peace process.”
That waiver authority was a critical escape valve for Clinton and his successors. Initially, the legislation introduced by then-Kansas senator Bob Dole (R) mandated that groundbreaking on a new embassy in Jerusalem begin in 1996. To quell concerns from Clinton allies on the Hill, Dole added a provision that allowed the president to postpone implementation of the move for six months if “such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”
Every President since Clinton has taken advantage of that waiver to avoid moving the Embassy. Why? Because up until now America has been almost totally dependent on Arab countries in the Middle East for our energy supply. Now that we are on the road to energy independence, we are free to make decisions on the basis of what is right rather than how much oil we need.
Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to move the Embassy.