"We still hope Trump will move the embassy to where it belongs"

At the Capitol, Martin Oliner, President of the Center for Unity and of Religious Zionists of America, compared 1967 to Biblical miracles.

Eliran Aharon,

 Ron DeSantis (second to left) and Martin Oliner (second to right)
Ron DeSantis (second to left) and Martin Oliner (second to right)
Eliran Baruch

Speaking at the US Capitol at a special event marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation and unification, Martin Oliner, President of the Center for Unity and of Religious Zionists of America, compared the miracles his generation witnessed to the delivery of Israel from ancient Egypt.

This is the text of his speech:

What an impressive turnout! Thank you to the senators and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle, and to all our co-sponsors. I'd also like to thank my wife, Reva. And I'd like to thank God for Jerusalem.

This event really proves that if there is any issue that unites, it's Jerusalem.

It has united forces that tend to have the most natural rifts: Bipartisan leadership on a political level here in Washington, across the political map in Israel, and even representatives of the American Jewish community from across religious divides.

This event is co-sponsored by 25 Jewish organizations that, to put it mildly, are not always on the same page.

By coming together to celebrate the unity of Jerusalem, these Jewish organizations are not only marking a miracle, they are also perpetuating one. They are coming together, some of them perhaps for the first time, to show appreciation to God for returning the Jewish, historic capital to His people, and to thank the great leadership of the United States of America for its tremendous support.

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since the time of King David 3000 years ago, when Washington was just a twinkle in the eye. As Israel's national anthem Hatikva says, it has been the home of the yearnings of the Jewish people for 2000 years.

I myself was born in a DP Camp to two survivors. My parents were hidden in Poland during World War II, while Jews all around them were being rounded up and sent to certain death. Being survivors was always a big part of who they were.

When 1967 came, they were understandably very fearful for the people of Israel. Mass graves were dug for Israelis as the Arab armies surrounding the Jewish state prepared for war.

Winning the war against all odds certainly increased their faith. Their siblings, who abandoned their faith and Jewish practice in the Holocaust, returned to be believers and practicing Jews, due to seeing the hand of the God in the Six-Day war.

As a teenager, I used to attend demonstrations calling for freeing the Jews of the Soviet Union. At first, the protests weren't too successful. In fact, they seemed hopeless.

But then, the victory of the Six-Day War happened and inspired the Jews behind the Iron Curtain that anything can happen and that they must have hope. Seeing a strong Jewish state reuniting its capital gave them the strength to endure hardships and ultimately prevail. There are now more than 1 million Russian-speakers in the Jewish state, contributing so much.

Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said that in Israel, to be a realist, one must believe in miracles.

The prophet Micah's prophesy came true when he said, "As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show him wonders." He also wrote "Your hand shall be raised above your oppressors, and all your enemies shall be destroyed."

We mark the Exodus from Egypt at a Seder. Here, as we mark the modern-day miracle of united Jerusalem, we also drink wine, but we can skip the bitter herbs today, ladies and gentlemen. The Jewish people have suffered enough!

Jerusalem has suffered from suicide bombers, snipers, stabbers and other threats. Its security is never quite guaranteed.

It is threatened by those who want to make war, and sometimes by well-meaning people who want to make peace by dividing the city that no other nation has had as its capital.

In December, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

The 14 countries who voted for it for their own political reasons had no authority to decide international law. Their decision that rebuilding ancient synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is a war crime does not make it one.

We are thankful to President Trump for showing support for Jerusalem by making it one of the key stops on his first trip abroad as president. But it was scary to see that when his national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, was asked twice to comment on whether the Western Wall is within sovereign Israeli territory, he refused to answer, dismissing the matter as a "policy decision."

We are not giving up hope that President Trump will keep his promise to enable America's embassy in Israel to move where it belongs. Jerusalem is the home of Israel's government, parliament, and Supreme Court, and no country should be able to tell another where its capital should be.

Moving the embassy will make the world safer, because it will tell the world that America will honor its commitments to its allies. Countries around the world will see the US reward Israel, its ultimate ally, and know that after eight years when it was unclear, they now must be on America's side.

Menachem Begin told Israelis that if they did not take action to take control over Jerusalem's Old City in the Six Day War, future generations would not forgive them. That is also true in this case.

"Jerusalem, the city that has become bound together, the eternal capital of Israel and of the Land of Israel, shall not be subjected to any division and is our liberated and indivisible capital and so it shall remain from generation to generation," he said.

The law requiring the embassy to be moved has been in the news lately. But people forget that the same law that passed in 1995 but has never been implemented because of presidential waivers would also give formal recognition by America that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. That is even more reason for every Jewish organization here, every congressman, and every simple Jew to push for that law to be implemented now!

Jews have been in Jerusalem for 3300 out of the last 3500 years, making our claim to the city stronger than that of anyone else. As far back as 1818, British writer Robert Richardson estimated the number of Jews to be 10,000, twice the number of Muslims.

Lately, there has been an absolute renaissance of building throughout Jerusalem, for Jews and for Arabs.

I was just there, touring the city with my grandchildren. I pointed out how things looked so different before 1967 when we had a state with a divided heart.

Back then, if you were Jewish, you could not enter the Jordanian-occupied Old City. Now it is a haven for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and those who are still trying to figure themselves out. We mark Jerusalem Day due to the miracles that made this situation that was only dreamed of before a reality.

It is a city we can all be proud of. And that again is why we are all here today.

Thank you again for coming. God blessed Jerusalem. God bless America!




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