Three years after the end of the Second World War and in the aftermath of the Holocaust carried out by Nazi Germany’s systematic persecution murdering 6 million European Jews, the Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed a new State of Israel on May 14, 1948.
According to published reports, “Truman sent his telegram recognizing Israel 11 minutes after Ben-Gurion proclaimed the country’s existence on May 14, 1948.”
President Donald Trump delivered on his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This fulfills America’s great promise in implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on Oct. 23, 1995.
Yet again, it was an American president’s moral leadership to stand firm against the opposition and media critics.
President Trump continues the legacy of America’s leadership in affirming the shared values and principles with trusted allies. This date, May 14, 2018, will be marked in history as a triumphant day when Americans and Israelis gathered to affirm Israel’s sovereignty and renewed the bonds of the strategic partnership between the two rule of law countries.
In a letter written a few weeks prior to Israel’s declaration of independence, Chaim Weizmann, the future president of Israel, conveyed this message to President Truman:
“The choice for our people, Mr. President, is between statehood and extermination. History and providence have placed this issue in your hands, and I am confident that you will yet decide it in the spirit of the moral law.”
President Trump’s leadership in fulfilling America’s commitment to a trusted ally honors the principled endeavors advanced for decades by America’s conservative movement, evangelical Christians and partners in Israel and the Jewish American community.
There are notable moments in history when U.S. presidents have stood for a moral cause and opposed external pressures to keep the status quo. At this hour, American leadership was at its best as a shining example to the world.
Never has the certitude of the rightness of this strategic endeavor been as strong as it is now, to implement the public law of the United States — the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. After the U.S. and Guatemala, Paraguay becomes the third nation to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The State of Israel considers “Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital.” Over 3,000 years ago, King David established Jerusalem as the capital of the first Jewish kingdom.
However, nations around the world oppose America’s principled leadership in affirming Israel’s sovereignty. On Dec. 21, 2017, the U.N. General Assembly held a vote on an Egyptian-drafted resolution demanding that the Trump administration rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. A total of 128 of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly voted against America’s decision.
To make matters worse, America’s close allies on the 15-member U.N. Security Council, the influential and powerful body within the United Nations structure, voted for the resolution to embarrass the Trump administration.
Absent from the ranks to support Israel’s sovereignty and to recognize Jerusalem as the country’s capital were NATO members, a structure funded significantly by America’s taxpayers. NATO members missed an opportunity to side with the United States and Israel.
A great number of the Eastern Europe’s NATO members have failed to meet the alliance’s rule of law criteria including Croatia, Hungary and Poland. These countries are currently blocking efforts to return property confiscated during World War II to Jewish communities, a key article enshrined in the NATO’s charter as a prerequisite to joining the military alliance.
President Trump justifiably warned countries that are receiving U.S. taxpayer aid regarding their voting record when it comes to upholding the rule of law in the U.N. assembly.
Reuters reports: “According to figures from the U.S. government’s aid agency USAID, in 2016 the United States provided some $13 billion in economic and military assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and $1.6 billion to states in East Asia and Oceania. It provided some $13 billion to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, $6.7 billion to countries in South and Central Asia, $1.5 billion to states in Europe and Eurasia and $2.2 billion to Western Hemisphere countries, according to USAID.”
A significant number of countries mired in corruption — and yet receiving U.S. taxpayer aid, generous loans and grants backed by the U.S. government through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank — continue to oppose rule of law reforms in their own jurisdictions while attacking America’s principled leadership.
In contrast, Israel is a beacon of democracy and the rule of law, and America’s key trusted ally in the Middle East.
Israel, known as the “startup nation,” is a leader in technology, medicine, agribusiness and desalination. Israeli innovations are empowering people in the developing world. Today, Israel’s engaged networks are actively sharing its resources with countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Israeli scientists and experts have shared their unique drip irrigation system and natural pesticides. These practical approaches provide clean water and boosts agricultural yields for developing nations.
According to Israeli research, “there are now some 400 Israel agritech startups focusing on innovations for the global agriculture sector.”
The innovation and technology from Israel fuel our digital highways, strengthen cybersecurity measures and empower citizens through smartphones.
Venture capitalist Jon Medved stated at the inaugural Jerusalem Leaders Summit in 2015 in Israel, “There are 350 multinationals in Israel. If anyone wants to boycott Israel, you have to unhook the Internet, because God forbid, you should use a Cisco product, or a Google product, you shouldn’t go on Facebook, you should never use Intel — that means throw away your computers, you cannot use Qualcomm, because then you have to get rid of your cell phones.”
Citizens, consumers and businesses around the world benefit from Israel’s creativity and appreciate the benefits gained from cybersecurity, medical advances and agricultural innovation.
However, leaders from around the world ought to know better and acknowledge the importance of Israel’s rule of law foundation and the fruits of a vibrant market economy. Celebrating a nation’s sovereignty and its significant economic successes will go a long way in a region hampered by authoritarian regimes, rampant corruption, radical Islamism, a state of constant unrest and open conflicts.
Indeed, the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday will undoubtedly be celebrated by engaged citizens and stakeholders from America, Israel and beyond who are dedicated to strengthening the partnership of nations deeply rooted in the rule of law and freedom.
Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy are co-founders of the U.S.-based International Leaders Summit and Jerusalem Leaders Summit.