Who was that American president, the minor figure who blabbed a lot? Donald Trump, that’s right. He acknowledged seventy years of reality and proclaimed Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and promised the United States would therefore move its embassy there, from Tel Aviv, as soon as his architects and engineers could build and secure a big beautiful building. As it developed, the Americans didn’t give this project priority and, as I recall from junior high textbooks, it took three or four years to complete. A far more important proclamation came too many years later when President Blank proclaimed that Jerusalem was also the capital of the Palestinian people. I mean, where else would their capital be?
I don’t worry too much about what’s Jewish or Palestinian because I’m both, pretty much right down the middle, and bet a majority of people in Israel are quite mixed up, biologically speaking. It doesn’t matter much since I often mistake one for the other no matter the origin. What certainly counts is that the two-state solution didn’t work in such a compressed area and, when the Israelis officially annexed the West Bank, after decades of slow and painful bites, so much strife ensued that our forbearers reluctantly acknowledged that in order to survive they had to form one nation, a diverse and democratic place of unqualified personal and religious freedom.
To those mired in the enmity and violence of a century and more ago, this would sound naïve. Very well, to us in modern Israel, the old violence and repression are difficult to comprehend. I’m glad our ancestors studied world history, and eventually learned that slavery, holocausts, and segregation could be overcome. Today, it all seems relatively simple, or at least straightforward. We have fine homes, schools, businesses, medical facilities, and social and cultural options, and I think we’ll maintain these as long as we offer them to everyone.