With President Donald Trump serving his first week in office, hopes are high in the Jewish State and among supporters of Israel worldwide that the President will deliver on his promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Those hopes were buoyed by rumors over the weekend that the President intends to announce this week his intention to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
On Monday, however, media outlets, including the Times of Israel, reported the White House had made it clear no statement on Jerusalem was imminent. The White House press secretary said the Administration is only “at the very beginning stages of even discussing” the embassy move.
Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and recently named Trump cybersecurity advisor, was in Israel this week and admitted to the Jerusalem Post that an embassy move is complex. Giuliani said he doesn’t think Trump has changed his position on the matter in any way, but now that he’s in office, the process requires much more deliberation. “It will have a big impact on [Israel],” Giuliani said, “and it should be a decision coordinated with the government of Israel.”
On the day before his inauguration, the President reaffirmed he is committed to making good on his campaign pledge to move the embassy, saying, “Of course I remember what I told you about Jerusalem . . . you know I’m not a person who breaks promises.”
These developments do seem to confirm the Administration’s intention to at least seriously entertain the move, despite warnings from across the Middle East that it could ramp up tensions in the already volatile region.
The embassy move would be an important step to show new solidarity between the United States and Israel, in contrast to the former administration’s policy of cooler relations with the Jewish State. But many believe the relocation could spark a new wave of Palestinian violence, undermine U.S. relations with Muslim countries that view Jerusalem as a sacred city, and further damage the already stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The Times of Israel reported that a senior Palestinian official warned over the weekend that moving the embassy would be seen as U.S. aggression against the Muslim world. He called it “a dangerous step . . . that contradicts previous United Nations resolutions and the policy of the United States since 1967.”
The media widely reported that on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump had a phone call in which the President invited the Prime Minister to Washington in early February. Netanyahu’s office described the half-hour conversation as “very warm.” The issue of the embassy apparently did not come up.
While Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since the nation’s founding in 1948, no foreign embassies — and only about 10 consulates — are based in that city. Bringing the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has been a promise of other U.S. Presidents, but none followed through.
For those of us who hope to raise the level of respect and concern for the Jewish people, the Trump administration’s willingness to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem seems to be good news. Especially in this time of often-strained relations with Israel, and heightened anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment worldwide.
But we must remember that our goal as followers of Yeshua (Jesus) must be peace in the region and an environment that enables us, through our partnership in ministry, to reach Jewish people with the Gospel. We want to see the Nation of Israel meet Him, accept salvation in His awesome name, and join us in eternity with Him.
Please join me in making this your prayer in the coming days—and know that I am so thankful for you and your partnership in blessing the Jewish people.
As you pray, I hope you’ll also consider giving an online gift now to deliver the Good News to the Jewish people. Our interest is not a matter of politics, but of passion to serve the Jewish people in the name of their Jewish Messiah.