Jerusalem 101: Why President Trump’s New Policy Is Such A Big Deal
President Donald Trump is announcing Wednesday that the U.S. officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the State Department will begin the process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
It might be unclear at first why that policy change is so important. Jerusalem is, after all, the de facto capital of Israel. The Israeli parliament (Knesset) is there, as are the prime minister’s office, the president’s residence, the Supreme Court, and all of the executive agencies. Israelis consider Jerusalem their capital whether or not the U.S. recognizes it as such. As a practical matter, the change is symbolic. But as such, it is still extremely important.
To understand why, it is important to understand the history of the city. The Old Testament describes in 2 Samuel 5 how King David conquered the city and made it his capital, over 3000 years ago. It later describes in 1 Kings 8 how David’s son, King Solomon, built the Holy Temple and installed the Ark of the Covenant there. Since then, Jews have always faced Jerusalem in their daily prayers. It is the center of the Jewish faith and the core of Jewish history. Read More…