It didn’t take long for the rhetoric to turn white hot after President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced a plan to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
While Muslims around the Middle East promised three “days of rage” in response to the announcement, a panel member appearing on ILTV’s special broadcast summarized Israel’s argument.
“The Arabs don’t have a claim on Jerusalem. It was never an Arab capital. The Muslims don’t have a claim on Jerusalem,” said Ari Fuld, the COO of the Israel-based non-profit Standing Together.
“When you say it’s one-sided, yes, it’s the side of truth. … To give in to terrorism and to tell lies is not going to bring peace. When the Arabs realize the world is not playing their game anymore … if they want to make peace, then peace will come.”
See the full panel discussion as Israel reacted to Trump’s announcement:
It appeared on ILTV.
Trump’s order was based on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act that instructed the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
But the law presented the president with the option of signing a waiver to delay the move for six months if he determined the move could harm international relations. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama continued signing the waiver, and Trump signed it earlier this year.
But on Wednesday he announced he will allow the waiver to expire.
World Israel News reported the Western Wall was illuminated with the Israeli and U.S. flags in appreciation to Trump for recognizing the Israeli capital.
The mayor released a statement that the recognition is “a historic declaration that sends a clear message to the entire world that the United States stands alongside the Jewish people, the state of Israel and Jerusalem.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained that Jerusalem has been “the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.”
“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” he said.
Danny Canon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said the decision righted a historic wrong.
“Now is the time for all U.N. member-states to follow the lead of our American friends and recognize our ancient capital of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel,” he said.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Jerusalem “was and will remain our eternal capital, but now there’s also recognition.”
In sharp contrast, Ayman Odeh, chief of the Joint List, a group of Arab-majority political parties, blasted the U.S. president, promising days of “rage.”
“Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the entire region on fire with his madness. The last few days prove decisively that the United States cannot remain the sponsor or arbitrator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Trump explained his announcement is a “new approach” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The law never has been followed, he said, because previous presidents believed “that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace.”
But after decades of that position, “we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”
Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and president of Christians in Defense of Israel, said: “In every country worldwide, the U.S. respects the choice of the nation state and locates its embassy in the capital. However, the embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, despite the fact that Israel designates Jerusalem as its capital and despite the fact that Congress voted to move the embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 passed the Senate by 93-5 and the House by 374-37 to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by requiring the withholding of State Department funds if was not moved. However, the law was never implemented because of opposition from former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said: “Today is a major milestone in America’s historic relationship with Israel. Under the bold and courageous leadership of President Trump, America is finally putting American interests and the interests of our key allies first. America’s foreign policy, as it pertains to Israel, is coming into alignment with this biblical truth: Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state.”
WND reported earlier in the week the expectation of the decision prompted Palestinians to riot.
European leaders in Britain, France, Germany and Sweden criticized the move, as did the U.S. establishment media. The Washington Post, for instance, posted a headline that quoted the Swedish foreign minister calling Trump’s decision “catastrophic.”
The denouncements come on the heels of the United Nations passing six resolutions condemning Israel on Dec. 1, which the U.N. declared “Palestine Day.”
Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com and author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” issued the following statement:
Even though I knew this announcement was coming, it was historic and exciting to watch. Frankly, after being a close observer of American-Israeli relations and a frequent visitor to Israel, I doubted I would ever see this day come, given 28 years of waffling by U.S. presidents. All I can say is, “Thank you President Trump for fulfilling a campaign promise that the previous four president never kept.”
Thank President Trump for his courageous stance on Jerusalem and for all his accomplishments during his first year in office. Send him a FREE card of your choice. Go to ThankTrump.us