In the all-consuming debate surrounding President Trump’s Jerusalem statement, little attention was paid to the formal date on the proclamation signed by Trump.
The end of the document stated that it was signed on “this sixth day of December in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen.” This is the formal language used by the U.S. government for presidential proclamations, referring to the years passed since the birth of Jesus Christ (and the beginning of the Gregorian calendar).
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro may be the only one who paid any attention to this formulation. In fact, as he explained on Twitter, when Shapiro served in the Obama administration, he “worked hard (with mixed success) to get that standard formulation out of White House proclamations aimed at the Jewish community.”
Shapiro’s hard work may have made a change in the previous administration. But under Trump, the “year of our Lord” is back, even when signing a document recognizing the capital of the Jewish state.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Dan Shapiro’s War Against The ‘Year Of Our Lord’