Penny Nance: Here is why the US Embassy move to Jerusalem is so important to American Christians

On May 14, 1948, just after a provisional government proclaimed the new State of Israel, President Truman said: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

In that moment, the United States made history as the first nation to recognize the legitimacy of the new Jewish state. And now, 70 years later, the U.S. is making history again as our great nation will legitimize the State of Israel, our ally and friend, by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

American evangelicals are responding: “It’s about time.”

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a promise that was made to the American people and Israel in 1995, when Congress voted almost unanimously to locate our embassy in the capital of the Jewish state, just as we do in every other nation in the world.

Monday – the 70th anniversary of U.S. recognition of Israel – will be an historic moment. We are thankful to President Trump for making good on a promise that his predecessors chose to ignore. I am honored to represent Concerned Women for America supporters as I attend this historic event.

While the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a game-changer on the world stage, it is uniquely important to American Christians.

Although imperfect, like any nation, Israel is a representation in the Middle East of the ideals and principles that we hold dear as Christians. It is much more than a political performance; it is about giving Israel the respect it deserves as a nation that is dedicated to democratic ideals.

The United States is making history with this embassy move. Once again, we hope to see others around the world do the right thing and follow our lead.

Israel stands for human rights. Israel cares for the least of these. Israel is inclusive. Every Israeli is supported and represented, regardless of whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Christian, male or female, young or old.

Women have been an integral part of the modern State of Israel since its beginning. Golda Meir, the original “Iron Lady,” served as minister of labor and foreign minister before becoming Israel’s prime minister in 1969. She was Israel’s fourth prime minister and the third female prime minister in the world, and she led Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Israel has always prioritized diversity within the Knesset, its 120-member unicameral parliament. Women and minorities – including Arabs and Druze – have been represented in the Knesset since its inception. Today 33 members of the Knesset are women and 18 members are Arabs.

The Israeli people have proven their dedication to upholding justice and always working towards improvement.

After the fall of the Soviet Union Israel became a destination country for trafficked women, and prostitution became a prominent issue. Because of this, in 2001 Israel was ranked as a Tier 3 country for human trafficking on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report – the worst possible ranking.

The Israeli government took definitive action against sex traffickers, working to protect women and children and bring criminals to justice. For six years in a row, Israel has been ranked a Tier 1 nation in its efforts to combat human trafficking, signaling its success in fighting this grave injustice.

Although it receives little recognition on the global stage, Israel continues to go above and beyond in its service to the world. Last summer, Israel unveiled Operation Good Neighbor, the secret operation it had been conducting in Syria to keep starvation away from thousands of Syrians while also providing free medical care. The Good Neighbor is an appropriate name for Israel.

Since its beginning as a small nation in the midst of the Middle East, Israel has been committed to wide-reaching humanitarian relief and global development. Despite animosity from much of the world, it continues to always be a helping hand, often providing the first responders to natural disasters – whether they be earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, or Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

In 2016 the United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the Israeli Army’s field hospital as “number one in the world.” The U.N. has been known for having a negative attitude towards Israel, but it could not ignore the humanitarian efforts of Israel. The nation’s army field hospital is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites.

The United States is making history with this embassy move. Once again, we hope to see others around the world do the right thing and follow our lead.

Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).