Throughout my life, from the time I was old enough to understand my parents’ instructions, I was told to “do the right thing”. That became my saying incorporated into my everyday life.
Last week, the government of the United States of America proudly and emphatically did “the right thing” for its best friend in the world, the State of Israel. And it felt good, really good.
I was honored to be at 2 days of festivities celebrating the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. This move was a wrong since 1948 that was righted in 1995 but not effectuated by any President since then. President Trump fixed this mistake. And he “did the right thing”.
People ask what’s the big deal? It is a big deal, a very big deal. Huge.
Every country in the world is recognized as a country. With the ability to choose its own capital. Literally every country. Large and small. Even tiny countries. Except Israel. Until now.
Some have said this is the continuation of 1948- the establishment of the State of Israel. I like that. I love the fact that the President sent 4 of his most loyal and trusted advisors to the opening ceremony including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared, his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his special representative Jason Greenblatt. And each of them celebrated like it was their wedding. And my dear friends Ambassador David Friedman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were the parents of the bride. Bursting with pride.
“Aunts and uncles” who played major roles in making this happen were Pastor John Hagee and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson. Instrumental in making this happen. And five Senators and about ten Congressmen made the trip and were smiling from ear to ear including dear friends Lindsey Graham Ted Cruz Dean Heller Mike Lee and especially Ron DeSantis who worked so hard to make it happen today not in ten or five years or one year. Now.
Sitting at the ceremony I felt like I was attending the Salute to Israel Parade times 1 million. So many people from the pro-Zionist activist world were there. Davidele who founded the City of David (David’s City from thousands of years ago which has been uncovered in recent years piece by piece), Dore Gold, Eli Beer and the Hatzalah team, Pastor Hagee and his amazing wife Diana, the great Senator and almost Vice-President Joe Lieberman, Rabbi heroes like Rabbi Ari Berman of Yeshiva University, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and Rabbi Efrem Goldberg and so many more.
The speeches were all spectacular. Each and every one. The PM gave two of the best speeches of his career (which seems to be reaching new heights of leadership in the last few weeks) during the lead-up to and at the opening. Jared Kushner was terrific. Everyone should watch his speech again to absorb all of the substance. My friend Rabbi Wolowik brought lots of pride to all of the five-towners who were there. But the person who brought the house down was Pastor John Hagee who filled each and every one of us with great pride and warmth. Wow. I love having him on our side and as a friend.
This week’s Torah reading uses a word Kommemiut that is never used again in the Torah. Rabbi Moshe Weinberger explains that it means standing straight and tall. Not as individuals but as a state. G-d is saying to Israel you have been beaten down and hurt. You have felt tons of pain over the years. But you must continue to stand straight and tall filled with confidence and pride. On Embassy Day the nation of Israel stood straight and tall filled with pride and confidence. We are here. Forever.
In 1947 my father was at the United Nations when the UN voted for the State of Israel. He took so much pride in having been there when Jewish history was made. I am honored to have been at the continuation of the establishment of the State.
Thank you Ambassador Friedman and chief of staff Aryeh Lightstone for inviting Malki and me to this historic event. And thank you President Trump for “Doing the Right Thing”. I will ALWAYS remember this day. I was there.
By: J. Philip Rosen