More than 50 Christian leaders have called on President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.
Trump is set to embark on a journey to the Middle East that will see him visit Saudi Arabia first and Israel on his second day before heading to the Vatican, CBN News reported.
A letter, liaised by the U.S. arm of the International Christian Embassy – Jerusalem (ICEJ), was signed by numerous evangelical leaders through the American Christian Leaders for Israel network. They included Christians United for Israel founder Dr. John Hagee, In Touch Ministries president Dr. Charles Stanley, Family Talk Radio president Dr. James Dobson and Christian Broadcasting Network CEO Gordon Robertson, among others.
ICEJ National Director Susan Michael wrote, “Looking back over the past 24 years of unsuccessful efforts by three previous presidents to broker a final peace agreement, it is not a good idea to continue hinging this long-overdue decision on reaching such a deal.”
She added, “Now is the right time to honor our friend and ally by fully recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.”
In 1995, the U.S. Congress signed the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act that recognized the city as the capital of Israel. It stipulated that the U.S. Embassy must be relocated to Jerusalem not later than May 31, 1999. However, it did not happen.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump vowed to implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act upon winning the election.
Trump reiterated this promise a day before he took his oath of office, saying, “You know, I’m not a person who breaks promises,” CNN reported.
However, since becoming president, many counseled Trump against such a move including the King of Jordan, Abdullah, who personally told the 70-year-old head of state not to push through with it.
Many voices have warned that such a move will spell disaster to the continuing peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that a White House official already communicated that the President will postpone the transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following positive talks between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.