It’s not quite Friday as I write (though it may well be so by the time I post), but with the upcoming Shavuot festival starting straight after Shabbat, and after this week’s upsetting news, I thought it fitting to post a Good News post now.
The most important good news of the week was the long-awaited opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, as promised by countless Presidents but fulfilled only by Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump was the only president to fulfill his promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem—this was the message repeated by all speakers at the inauguration ceremony for the new US Embassy in the Israeli capital on Monday.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the US delegation with a single message: Only Trump had the courage to act on what America has wanted for a long time.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked Trump for “having the courage” to keep his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
“What a glorious day for Israel,” a jubilant Netanyahu said. “Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history you have made history. All of us are deeply moved, all of us are deeply grateful.”
“This is a great day,” he continued. “A great day for Jerusalem. A great day for the state of Israel. A day that will be engraved in our national memory for generations.”
I believe it’s a great day for peace,” the prime minister pronounced.
He thanked Kushner, Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador David Friedman for their “tireless efforts to advance peace” and for their “tireless efforts to advance the truth.”
“The truth and peace are interconnected,” Netanyahu opined. “A peace that is built on lies, will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern realities. You can only build peace on truth. And the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state.”
Here is Donald Trump’s video-recorded speech at the inauguration ceremony. I have never heard him speak so well – fluently and from the heart:
And here is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, both grateful and triumphant in tone, and that is as it should be on such a momentous occasion:
And here is Ambassador David Friedman’s speech:
Here is President Reuven Rivlin’s speech, after he was graciously introduced by Ambassador Friedman:
The event was a huge triumph for both countries. Israel finally received official recognition and backing from a superpower, from America itself, confirming that Jerusalem is its capital and therefore it makes the most sense for the embassy to be located there.
This was also a huge personal success for Binyamin Netanyahu. After all the vilification he has received over the years from his opponents that his actions have endangered the US-Israel relationship, particularly in his clash with former President Obama and his administration about the Iran nuclear deal, there can be no greater vindication.
Professor of International Law Eugene Kontorovich explained to the BBC the relevance of the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem:
It surprises me every time how dumb the mainstream media appear when they ask such obvious questions and disbelieve the answers.
The positive repercussions from the embassy move to Jerusalem could be felt throughout the week:
Two days after the American Embassy, Guatemala too opened its embassy in Jerusalem:
The Central American country’s president, Jimmy Morales, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a blue-and-white ribbon, and later placed pieces of the ribbon in the pockets of their suit jackets.
“This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“Yesterday we opened the American embassy in Jerusalem, two days ago, and it’s not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You are always among the first, always among the first,” Netanyahu went on, recalling that Guatemala was the second nation, after the US, that recognized the State of Israel in May 1948.
Netanyahu mentioned that there is a Guatemala Street, named in honor of the country’s former ambassador to the UN Jorge Garcia Granados.
Seventy-one years ago, Granados played a crucial role in convincing Latin American countries to vote in favor of General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.
It seems that the US Embassy move has opened, if not a floodgate, then at least a doorway to permit other countries, who have been too timid until now, to move their embassies to Jerusalem too. They can now feel confident that they have the backing of the world’s superpower.
This in turn gives a boost to America, restoring its image as the world’s no. 1 superpower, enabling it to return to the world’s stage and project its power as it used to before Obama destroyed its deterrence.
This is all excellent news for Israel, America and the Middle East in general. A very good way to enter Shabbat and Shavuot.
Shabbat Shalom everyone!