President Trump described his acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “nothing more than a recognition of reality.” This is exactly right: since the rebirth of the Jewish state 70 years ago, Jerusalem has been the seat of Israeli government and the nation’s leading cultural institutions.
Pretending that this status is temporary is like pretending that Israel itself is temporary – the key delusion that’s kept the Palestinians in a perpetual state of self-destructive violence. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declares that “Jerusalem will be Palestine’s capital forever,” but when’s the last time Palestinians controlled the holy city? Jordan held East Jerusalem before 1967, and before 1948, Britain ran the whole city. Ottoman Turks held Jerusalem for 300 years from 1516 to 1918. In fact, Palestinians never controlled the holy city.
The only times in 3,000 years of history that Jerusalem has been capital of a country, that nation has been a Jewish state. Denying current realities is dangerous, but ignoring history can be even worse.