A Christian law firm is hailing President Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At the same time, a messianic Jewish leader is disappointed the president is delaying the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
On Wednesday President Donald Trump made the historical announcement from the White House:
Trump: "Israel is a sovereign nation, with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace."
The president also announced he's moving forward with plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, not only fulfilling a campaign promise but also complying with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.
The Associated Press reports that in reaction, Palestinians are protesting in cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump's actions "a milestone."
Matthew Clark, senior counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, says the president's announcement is a bold and welcomed move that has been long in coming.
"It's been something that we've been calling for for years – in fact, it's something that Congress has been calling for for years," he adds. "In 1995 a law was passed [the Jerusalem Embassy Act] requiring the move of the embassy. That's been granted a waiver by every single president ever since.
"We now have the first president to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."
Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, also applauds the move by Trump.
"It may be the very reason that God allowed him to be elected," she shares with OneNewsNow. "God in his foreknowledge certainly knew the heart of Donald Trump at that time but also knew that he would follow through with the promise – which no other president was willing to do."
No big deal – just move the sign
Chad Groening (OneNewNow.com)
A Republican member of the U.S. Senate confirms it would be a simple procedure for the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem in short order.
Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), currently a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, served his state in the House of Representatives from January 1995 to December 2007. As a freshman congressman, he supported the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.
"Israel, as a sovereign country and an ally of ours, has the right to name its own capital city. So it really shouldn't be quite as controversial as the news media is making out," he tells OneNewsNow.
The senator says moving the embassy can be accomplished by just putting up a sign on an existing consular building in Jerusalem.
"As a matter of fact, there are a number of facilities there that we simply hang the sign out front and say this is the embassy – and we'll enlarge or move or expand later on," he adds.
Wicker says he hopes that's exactly what President Trump will do in the next six months.
It has been reported that moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City will likely take several years – despite comments last year from city officials in Jerusalem that all it would take is changing the sign on door of the new U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem.
Clark isn't discouraged that physical relocation of the embassy may take a while. "It will take some time to actually get the embassy moved, but we're very confident that it will move," he says. "This just represents the facts as they are on the ground: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish state of Israel."
Markell, however, is disappointed – but not surprised – that Trump has delayed moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
"My hunch is he's probably trying to limit the damage of his decision," she shares. "The Arab world [is] already in some sort of freefall – and I think he's probably trying to limit that kind of damage. But I was personally disappointed that the whole thing couldn't happen at once. At the same time, I see the practicality of perhaps doing this in stages."
Regardless, Markell joins other evangelical Christians who are rejoicing at the president's announcement. Among those is American Values president Gary Bauer, a longtime supporter of the Jewish nation who admits he's proud of what he describes as a "courageous act" by President Trump.
"Not only does it correct the absurdity of the U.S. not having a formal presence in the capital of its chief Middle East ally, but it also removes the ambiguity about America's position on Jerusalem that has long hampered our foreign relations," writes Bauer.
He adds that it comes after "eight years of betrayals" by the Obama administration.
"You will remember that late in his presidency, Obama stabbed Israel in the back by allowing a United Nations measure to pass that declared Israel's presence in Jerusalem illegitimate," states Bauer. "Trump's bold decision remedies this injustice and makes it crystal clear to the world that the U.S. now stands firmly with its ally Israel."
Editor's note: Comments from Sen. Wicker were added after story was originally posted.