Wednesday, President Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The announcement, which made a significant shift in American foreign policy, shocked the whole Middle East, and demonstrators occupied U.S. embassies around the world.
Several world leaders opposed his decision, with eight nations on the UN Security Council calling for an “emergency meeting,” per Reuters.
In an attempt to understand the view of Israelis from Jerusalem who know the Israeli-Palestinian conflict better than others, the Independent Journal Review interviewed to Israeli Defense Forces Maj. Amichai Chikli.
Chikli, 36, served in Israel’s special forces and currently is a major in the reserves, he was a captain in a reconnaissance unit and served in the guerrilla counter-warfare unit.
When asked why he feels that way Chikli responded by saying:
“I’ll start with the facts. There was a famous insult that was used to said to Jews all over Europe, so if you wanted to insult a Jew, you would shout at him ‘Hep! Hep!’”
“Which is in Latin the letters of Hierosolyma est perdita, which means ‘Jerusalem is lost.’”
“And so tonight, when I’m thinking of all these young Jews, who went to a café in Vienna, in Berlin, in Moscow, and some bullies shouted at them ‘hep, hep!’ When I’m thinking about them and I’m thinking look where we are now.”
Chikli even addressed the people who don’t feel the news are significant:
“Some people say it’s not news, you know Congress had already decided in 1995 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. But the spirit was not there. The spirit was not there and now after eight years of agony, of Obama, who was so anti to Israel, who was anti to Jerusalem, but to the legacy of Israel, the Judeo-Christian legacy, it is so refreshing, and it’s empowering, as an individual and as a Jew.”
He continued, “This is a change in the course of history. It is a change of the spirit, and that’s what’s important.”
Amichai Chikli also approves of the decision on a strategic level.
“On the strategic diplomatic level, I think this is a clear message to all the tyrants, to the Iranians, to the Palestinians, that lies cannot exist for long. And our Israel, the state of Israel, is here to stay forever.”
“It’s a beautiful present for the 70th anniversary of Israel. It’s a great moment.”
When asked regarding the calls for rage on the streets, he wasn’t intimidated. “To the Palestinians and the Arabs who think this will lead to war, every other day for them is a rage day. They have these rage days all the time,” he said. ”We don’t really care about these rage days.”
“Far more important, fear is no strategy. Especially when you have a violent barbarian enemy. And we all know when you show a barbarian that you are afraid of them, it only causes them to be much more aggressive. So there is nothing to fear. And we are willing if need, to fight.”
As the criticism continues over Trump’s announcement, Chikli’s views are valuable to understand what Trump’s decision means to the people of Israel.
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