US President Donald J. Trump announcing the official United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on December 6, 2017.
Yesterday afternoon, in a announcement eagerly awaited by Israelis and Israel’s supporters around the world, US President Donald Trump officially declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He said, “Through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all. But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
President Trump was honest and apolitical about his reasons for the declaration. To Trump the declaration was long overdue and it was simply the right thing to do. Period. He didn’t need to back up his logic with rhetoric like “Israel is an ally of the United States,” or “Israel is a strategic asset to the US and we want to support the nation.” Trump, like so many other Israel supporters, has recognized that Jerusalem has been and always will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
During the campaign for his presidency, President Trump made promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. It seemed that the President backtracked on his promise to move the embassy, when earlier this year he signed a waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed its move. At the time of the signing of the waiver the White House issued a statement saying, “No one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance.” There was skepticism at best and mistrust at worst about whether or not the President would ever follow through with his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move their embassy.
Toward the end of the announcement, Trump reassured the audience of his commitment to Israel and to peace in the Middle East. “With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation,” Trump told the audience.
President Trump also took the opportunity to point out the tremendous contribution and success Israel has been for the Middle East. “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians — and people of all faiths — are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs,” Trump said.
We thank US President Donald J. Trump for fulfilling his promise to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to stand by that recognition by moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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