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Why does the U.S. government not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when, in fact, it has been the capital of Israel for 3,300 years – since the days of King David? The 104th Congress passed public law 104-45 – the Jerusalem Embassy Act – in 1995. This document officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Public Law 104-45 also allocates $25 million to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Why has this been postponed by a presidential waiver every six months since it was passed in Congress? The premise is that implementing the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing one of the oldest capitals in the world, would cause a national security threat in the United States.
In 1988, I confronted Yasser Arafat at the 43rd General Assembly in Geneva concerning the fact that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. In an uncontrollable rage, Arafat began to scream, “Shut up! Shut up!” Arafat refused to sign documents at Camp David that would have met the vast majority of his demands (including half of Jerusalem). Why? He would have had to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
The real reason is plain and simple: Arab bigots do not want the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In doing so, it would constitute recognizing Israel’s right to exist. These same bigots attacked Spain in an attempt to use terrorism as a weapon to force the Spanish government to pull out of the coalition in Iraq, and accept a doctrine of appeasement. It appears to have worked in Spain.
Why do U.S. presidents continue to sign a waiver that postpones the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act? The answer is simple: Blackmail by Arab bigots who refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
On Sept. 5, 1972, the entire world was shocked when one of the most despicable terrorism attacks in history took place at the Munich Olympics. Arab terrorists (later identified as Palestinians) took hostage and then murdered 11 Israeli athletes in an attempt to blackmail the Israeli government into releasing 200 Arab prisoners. The Palestinian terrorists who mounted the attack were, in fact, members of a PLO faction, Black September. Their murderous actions were approved, financed and celebrated by Yasser Arafat.
Amazingly, the official website of the Athens 2004 Olympic games on Feb. 29, 2004, under “Palestine” stated that the capital was Jerusalem. How in the world can a country that doesn’t exist have a capital? After receiving a great number of complaints, the website was changed to read, “The State of Israel is part of the continent of Europe.”
This is astonishing to anyone who understands geography. The U.S. State Department calls it “the Near East.” Could it be that because Arab bigots refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, the Olympic Committee concurs? Why should we be surprised when the U.S. president and others refuse to acknowledge that Israel even has a capital? It is the theater of the absurd and a festival of hypocrisy.
The Egyptian-born Arafat has never stated in any document that he wanted West Jerusalem – it was always East Jerusalem (al-Quds). On the other hand, he has frequently said that the Palestinian flag would fly over all the churches and mosques of Jerusalem – referring to the entire city. In fact, the city of Jerusalem has never been the capital of an Arab state in the 1,400 years since the Quran was written, and is not directly mentioned in the Quran.
I am outraged that the Olympic committee recognized the capital of Cuba (Havana), the capital of North Korea (Pyongyang), and the capital of Iran (Tehran), but refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of our closest ally in the Middle East.
President Bush is a man of moral character and clarity. The second week of June, the Jerusalem Embassy Act will again be presented to Mr. Bush. He has a choice either to sign a national security waiver, or allow it to be enacted into law. It is time for him to stand up to Arab bigots, and refuse to sign another waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act. There is nothing in the Jerusalem Embassy Act that violates either U.S. or U.N. policy.
Each time the national security waiver is signed, we are saying to terrorists and bigots, “You win.” America needs the blessings of God more than favor with Arab bigots. Mr. Bush needs to send a signal to all the would-be Osamas that the party is over. No longer will America allow terrorists to threaten our nation into choosing political expediency over moral clarity.
If Rudolph Giuliani had the courage to say, “No, thank you,” to an Arab sheik that wanted to create linkage between 9-11 and Israel, President Bush needs to have moral clarity to do the same. America is in a state of moral decay. It is time for our president to let the godfather of world terrorism, the architect of the Munich massacre, know that the party is over. It is time to freeze the $1.25 billion dollars Arafat has stolen from the Palestinian people, and use it to build schools, hospitals, housing and a broadcasting network that does not glamorize and immortalize suicide bombers.