Why The U.S. Should Move Its Embassy To Jerusalem

Why The U.S. Should Move Its Embassy To Jerusalem

It's a risk worth taking because peace doesn't come easily.
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Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel may seem like an overly risky move that will not create positive change in the Middle East. However, I believe it will actually strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and affect the ways in which the international community perceives the isolated Israel.

The U.S. embassy move would most certainly influence the worldview of Israel, especially following the controversial UN Resolution 2334. With the resolution, the U.S.’s support of Israel is questionable, and the world has taken note from Obama’s action that the U.S. will not always support its greatest ally (and only democratic state) in the Middle East. The U.S. abstained from the vote on the one-sided resolution, which condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, rather than vetoing it, therefore allowing it to pass by a vote of 14-0-1. The resolution isolated and belittled Israel with a proposed plan for the Middle East that heavily criticized Israel and its settlements while delegating minimal time to the Palestinian Authority's incitement activities and actions. . While the resolution sparked extensive international debate, The House of Representatives voted to rebuke the resolution, stating that it doesn’t create productive dialogue and compromise between the Israelis and Palestinians, instead merely acting as a suggested guideline imposed on Israel and the Palestinians for how they should handle their conflict. Should the U.S. choose to move its embassy, it would show itself to be a friend of Israel and would rekindle its support for the state. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the embassy “needs to be” in Jerusalem, and many other Israelis agree.

The move would also serve as a precedent for other nations. The U.S. is a major world powerhouse, funding the "lion's share" of NATO, according to President Trump, as well as supplying massive amounts of physical and economic resources to other UN-funded organizations. Some senators, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), called for the US to withdraw funding from the UN following the resolution to signal the U.S.’s disdain for it (I detailed this in one of my other Odyssey articles; check it out!). However, the fact that the U.S. is still supporting so many of the UN’s initiatives just makes it that much more powerful at the negotiating table. With the international community heavily dependent on U.S. funding for specific issues, U.S. support of Israel would likely sway other nations to do the same, for it would be unwise for many countries to become enemies of the U.S. The U.S. simply needs to take steps to reignite its bond with Israel.

From a logistical standpoint, it is sensible for the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Proximity is key, and it would be wise for the embassy to be close to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem. This way, much like how Embassy Row is in Washington, D.C., near the White House and Congress, the U.S. embassy in Israel would be right near the Israeli government. This would prevent traffic difficulties and make dialogue between the two governments easier.

In terms of funding, following the Jerusalem Embassy Act, a law in favor of moving the embassy to Jerusalem passed by Congress in 1995, the U.S. set up a fund for the embassy move. Since the law passed, the various U.S. presidents have postponed the move, and the fund has remained untouched, as it is only able to be used for this measure. Also, the U.S. consulate and embassy in Israel could be switched, as the consulate is currently in Jerusalem. This would make the embassy move incredibly easy and virtually cost-free. Therefore, lack of funds or concern that the funds could be used for a different issue is not a deterrent to the embassy move.

As for the protection of the embassy, it would be defended (like all areas in Israel) by the Israeli Defense Forces. While the move might spark Palestinian outrage and potentially violent action, especially with the presence of terror groups, the Palestinians have already made many threats against the U.S. and Israel. If the U.S. hesitates and ultimately chooses not to move its embassy, it is giving credence to these threats and letting violent groups inhibit and dictate the terms of its friendship with the only democratic nation in the Middle East.

Furthermore, this conversation regarding Israel has been bipartisan through the decades. Of the four senators who voted against the Jerusalem Embassy Act, three were Republican. U.S. support for Israel today has often been perceived as a conservative position, but in reality, there are many reasons why both parties support the U.S.-Israel relationship. The only way that progress can be made to better the state of Israel is if U.S. politicians are willing to work across the aisle.

Though moving the embassy definitely poses some serious risks, it would be worthwhile in improving the U.S.-Israel relationship and ultimately allowing the nations to jointly work with the Palestinians to create peace in the Middle East. After all, there is nothing to fear but fear itself (and Hamas), so we should not sacrifice friendship and possibility for fear.
Cover Image Credit: New Canaan Advertiser

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

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rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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