Dec. 8, 2017
Trump’s Speech: A Seismic Event and a Historic Watershed – Melanie Phillips (Jerusalem Post)
This is where blackmail and intimidation are faced down. This is where appeasement ends. President Trump’s speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has signaled that, for America, the century-long Arab attempt to destroy Israel’s legitimacy – the essence of the Middle East conflict – has failed. The incendiary threats of vengeful violence should be taken seriously. But the Arabs need no excuse to try to murder Israelis.
Appeasing those who threaten violence doesn’t reduce it. It encourages it. The more concessions are offered, the more the Palestinians believe even greater violence will deliver them final victory. Britain, France and Germany have obligingly once again genuflected to the men of violence by disapproving of Trump’s speech. If they had said they, too, would now recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the threat of violence would lose much of its point.
The Arab war against Israel is not a conflict about the division of land. It is a war of extermination based on a refusal to accept that the Jews have any right to that land. And Jerusalem is central to that refusal. They deny the Jews any rights to Jerusalem at all. That’s because they need to suppress what they can never admit: that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jews’ ancient kingdom which preceded Islam and the Arab and Muslim conquest by many centuries.
Trump was in error when he said Jerusalem was at the heart of three great religions. It is the Jews alone for whom Jerusalem is at the core of their religious faith. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran; Muslims pray toward Mecca, their holiest city.
Far from the Israeli presence there being illegal, the Jews are the only people who are entitled to the city as a matter of international law, historical truth and natural justice. Which is why the refusal by Western countries to recognize the unique Jewish right to Jerusalem has been so malevolent.
Those who say Trump’s move makes peace less likely couldn’t be more wrong. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is the essential step without which peace can never be achieved.
The writer is a columnist for The Times (UK).
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)