Antecedents to Trump's declaration on J'lem

Dr. Joseph Frager,

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Dr. Joseph Frager
The writer is a leading American pro-Israel activist who sponsors and coordinates many Zionist events. He is clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases) at the Einstein School of Medicine as well as a practicing physician.

The President of the United States made one of the all time greatest moves by any President since Harry S. Truman recognized Israel's Statehood 70 years ago.

In President Trumps's own words, "After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result. Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." With those words, President Trump wrote himself into the History Books next to Balfour, Churchill, and Truman. All contributed immensely to the State of Israel. Clearly, the President's patience was running thin with Mahmoud Abbas and his shenanigans. Many had hoped the President was going to make the same pronouncement in May 2017 when he visited Israel in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem. I know that Governor Mike Huckabee who I was sitting next to at the Israel Museum Speech of POTUS (a great speech overall) was noticeably upset that the President did not make the declaration there and then. The President did say that the Jewish People had an eternal bond to Jerusalem.

I imagine other Evangelicals felt the same way as the Governor. Gov. Huckabee is close with the President. I imagine he might have mentioned this to him. The President was biding his time in the hopes of a breakthrough with Abbas. Instead he got constant disappointment from the PA. Abbas continued to incite terror and pay the families of the Terrorists. Since May 2017 the following horrific Terrorist incidents have occurred: On June 16th Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka was killed by three terrorists in Jerusalem.

On July 14th two Israeli Druze policemen were killed near the Temple Mount. On July 21, Elad Salomon, Haya Salomon and Yosef Salomon were stabbed to death while eating their Friday night Sabbath meal in Halamish. On Sept. 26th first Sgt. Salomon Gabariya, Yussef Utman, and Or Arish were killed in Har Adar. Abbas supposedly condemned the latter murder after intense pressure from the US but called the terrorist a martyr on his website and paid (in US terms) $203,000 per year tax free for life to the family of the murderer. On October 17th Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas which further compounded a deteriorating situation. This may actually have been the last straw for the President.

Then a number of positive events took place that boosted the President including the ZOA Dinner on Nov. 12th which honored and featured Ambassador Friedman. Amb. Friedman spoke glowingly of the President's accomplishments and reiterated that he believed the President would fulfill his campaign promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Amb. Friedman remained in Washington for almost two weeks after the Dinner discussing all aspects of the peace process and fulfillment of the President's campaign promise. Prior to the ZOA Dinner on Nov. 10th the National Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee chaired by Rep. Ron DeSantis featuring Amb. John Bolton, Amb. Dore Gold and Mort Klein held a special session. Congressman DeSantis said, "Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish People for thousands of years and is the beating heart of modern Israel."

Then came the Anthony Scaramucci trip to Israel. The President was genuinely taken by this trip and indeed communicated this to his old friend. Once the Tax Cut Bill was passed by the Senate the President felt he could turn his attention from domestic matters to foreign policy. On November 28th at the Celebration of 70 years since the UN voted for Israel's Statehood at the Queens Museum, Vice President Pence stated unequivocally that the President was going to fulfill his promise to move the embassy. The President knew that VP Pence would be going to Israel in December. The President also knew the story of Chanukah and wanted to emulate the Hasmoneans.

  On Dec. 3rd at the Bet El Dinner attended by over 1000 people, Amb. John Bolton, Fox and Friends anchor Pete Hegseth, Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, Congressmen Ron DeSantis, Lee Zeldin and Dan Donovan all called for the President to go forward on reports that he was going to make an announcement on moving the embassy later in the week. All told, the President made good on his campaign promise. My hope is that he will not only move the Embassy but declare Israel's sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria-the Heartland and Biblical foundation of the State of Israel. That would be something. Stay tuned.