(WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6) – TIP CEO & President Josh Block issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:
The recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel – the nation state of the Jewish people – is a welcome, long overdue acknowledgement of historic, religious and political realities, that enjoys broad bipartisan support across political lines in both the United States and Israel.
The Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem spans an unbroken chain of more than two millennia and this U.S. administration’s declaration is again an affirmation of this profound bond, acknowledged by Democratic and Republican administrations and successive congresses that dates back decades.
In 1990, the House and Senate overwhelmingly adopted resolutions declaring that Jerusalem “is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel.” In 1995, Congress reaffirmed this position with the passing of the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act.
The city is the home of the Israeli government, parliament and high court. Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s founding fathers and a visionary for peace, is buried in Jerusalem. What is missing are the embassies of other nations to the state of Israel.
Successive U.S. presidents vowed to change that and today’s speech represents the next logical step. The President is simply enacting the law.
Charles Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader, stated in October 2017: “As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy as soon as possible would appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the US definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
Likewise, Republicans have thrown their support behind the effort. “After thousands of years in exile, the Jewish people are finally back home. Home in the land of their ancestors, home in the land that so many have died fighting to defend, and home in their eternal united capital of Jerusalem never to be divided again,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in June.
Moving the U.S. embassy is also a consensus view in Israel that enjoys broad support across the Israeli political spectrum, from the opposition Labor and Yesh Atid parties to the members of the country’s governing coalition.
The administration decided to act at a critical time. Recent and continuous efforts at the United Nations to erase the connection of Jews to the birthplace of Judaism and the site of the First and Second Temples have been an insult to history. Earlier this year – on Independence Day in Israel – UNESCO approved a resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem.
Likewise, the Palestinians must realize that unilateralism will no longer be rewarded and that the only acceptable path forward is genuine peace negotiations. For too long, the embassy relocation has been delayed by threats of violence from leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Arab states. Incitement comes from the PA, which inspires terrorism and pays for murder. American Jewish leaders and diplomats must continue to make clear that U.S. policy will not be held captive to blackmail.