Religious Leaders Divided More than Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Religious Leaders Divided Over Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Enlarge this impression toggle caption Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and his purchase to go the U.S. Embassy brought instant and sharply differing reactions from Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders.

The government of Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, and most Jewish-American organizations have lengthy argued that the United States should acknowledge it as such. The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which called for the U.S. Embassy to become moved to Jerusalem, approved by a huge bipartisan margin and was highly supported by Jewish-American groups.

“It has been the consensus mainline look at for decades,” said Nathan Diament, executive director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, “because Jerusalem may be the capital town for Israel and the Jewish people. … The United States places its embassies in capital towns, and it’s unjust and discriminatory to say we’re going to select Israel as the one country where we don’t place our embassy [in the capital].”

When President Trump in Wednesday ordered the State Department to get started preparations to go the embassy to Jerusalem, several Jewish-American groups welcomed the move.

“By stating the truth of Jerusalem’s position as the administrative centre of the Talk about of Israel, President Trump offers asserted U.S. global leadership towards closing a longstanding, senseless anomaly,” said David Harris, chief executive officer of the American Jewish Committee.

The Anti-Defamation Little league called the approach a “significant step,” coming at a time “when international organizations and other detractors delegitimize the Jewish state and deny any Jewish connection to the holy city.”

But there were likewise misgivings from some Jewish-American groups. The Reform Jewish Motion, representing almost 900 congregations, observed that it has lengthy supported the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but likewise believed that moving the U.S. Embassy there should happen simply “at the proper time.” Without a comprehensive peace method, the movement explained it cannot support the president’s decision to go the embassy now.

Conservative evangelical Christian leaders had fewer qualms.

“This decision will get met by political praise and theological conviction,” explained Johnnie Moore, an informal spokesman for Trump’s evangelical advisory group. “Evangelicals in every corner of the United States will become ecstatic,” he said.

Evangelicals feel a special kinship with Jerusalem as the town where they believe Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again. Some sects even take an eschatological look at, arguing that Jesus will go back to earth in Jerusalem, once all Jews will be reunited there.

For Trump’s evangelical advisory group, said Moore, the only issue more crucial than the position of Jerusalem may be the question of who’ll be appointed as federal judges.

“In our various meetings with the White House, this issue has always come up,” Moore said, “and it is definitely an extended discussion around the table. I mean, at the heart of the romantic relationship between the United States and Israel offers been the friendship between evangelical Christians and the Jewish people.”

Some evangelical leaders who generally support the president’s Jerusalem decision, however, fear the repercussions for their own Palestinian Christian followers. Muslim leaders in the Palestinian territories include warned there will be a reaction there to the president’s announcement. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey all expressed alarm at Trump’s decision, as do Muslim leaders in the U.S.

“The truth is that Palestinians have existed for generations on the area of Palestine [and] in Jerusalem,” said Osama Abuirshaid, a board member of the American Muslims for Palestine, at a press conference near to the White Property. “[Trump] cannot deny this truth,” Abuirshaid explained. “He spoke about the Jewish connection to Jerusalem while negating the Christian and Muslim connection to the land and the holy city.”

Pope Francis advised against “adding new components of tension in a world currently shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.” The heads of more than a few Christian churches in Jerusalem, in a joint letter to Trump, explained a unilateral change in the position of Jerusalem by the U.S. authorities “will yield heightened hatred, conflict, violence, and enduring in Jerusalem and the Holy Property … [and] cause irreparable harm.”

A similar warning came from Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the major Lutheran group in the U.S.

“This announcement,” Eaton explained, “has a high probability of leading to violence and bloodshed rather than … getting any nearer to having the two parties come to the table again.”

Eaton spoke carrying out a meeting in Geneva with fellow Lutheran chuch leaders from all over the world, including those in Jordan and different Arab countries.

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