Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised U.S. President Donald Trump for his “historic decision” to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Trump said it was “long overdue” and “the right thing to do,” along with ordering the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to move to Jerusalem.
“It’s rare to be able to speak of new and genuine milestones in the glorious history of this city, that today’s pronouncement by President Trump is such an occasion,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “We’re profoundly grateful for the president, for his courageous and just position to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the U.S. Embassy here.”
The decision not only fulfills a major campaign promise to religious conservatives and the vast majority of Americans who support Israel but also a 22-year old national promise to the key ally.
In 1995, Congress passed The Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called for moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Waivers are permitted by presidents in the event national security is a concern, which President Trump signed in June.
President Trump said during a speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Wednesday that “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.”
A White House official said Tuesday that the President will still have to sign a waiver in order to preserve funding to the U.S. State Department while the relocation process begins.
“This decision reflects the president’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace. The president’s decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu called on other nations to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move their embassies, as well.
“I share President Trump’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians,” he said, adding that Israel will continue to work with President Trump to “make that dream of peace come true.”