Days before President Donald Trump’s scheduled trip to the Middle East, around 60 American Christian leaders called on the president in a letter to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there.
It described the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that Congress passed which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and called for the U.S. Embassy to be moved there by May 31, 1999.
“Sadly, every U.S. President since then has taken advantage of a provision in the law allowing its requirements to be waived for six months if ‘necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.’ Such suspensions have been repeated semi-annually for two decades, and it is time to end America’s doublespeak,” the letter reads.
It continues, “The Republican National Convention’s official 2016 Platform rightly stated, ‘We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of U.S. law.’ Moreover, we were honored and grateful that you pledged to specifically uphold this policy in response to a request from the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) coalition during your campaign. Many of our constituents cast their vote for you due to this commitment.”
Susan Michael, ICEJ USA Director, said she is concerned President Trump was being advised to postpone implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act and to make it instead part of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
“Considering the 24 years of attempted peace agreements by three previous presidents, it is not a good idea to continue waiting. Now is the time to honor our friend and fully recognize Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel,” Michael said in a statement.
The leaders closed the letter by requesting of the president to send a message early in his term that the “U.S. will honor its strongest and only true democratic ally in the Middle East by respecting their capital city—Jerusalem—and immediately moving the US Embassy there.”
Trump received strong support from pro-Israel evangelical voters during the 2016 election cycle and was warmly received at the Rev. Jerry Falwell -ounded Liberty University last weekend when he delivered the graduation commencement address.
The letter was signed by the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) an informal network of Christian leaders, managed by the US Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, representing some 60 million Christians across America. The ACLI letter was signed by Evangelical leaders representing diverse groups and denominations; among them Dr. Jerry Johnson, President and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters; Dr. John Hagee, Founder and Chairman, Christians United for Israel; Star Parker, President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education; Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America; Gordon Robertson, CEO, The Christian Broadcasting Network; Dr. James Dobson, President, Family Talk Radio; Gary Bauer, Washington Director, Christians United for Israel Action Fund; and Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk show host.