Evangelical leaders in the U.S. are applauding the history-making events occurring today in Jerusalem as the American Embassy officially opens there, as Israel’s prime minister said Jerusalem will always be the “eternal, undivided” capital of Israel.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “glorious” day. Netanyahu thanked President Donald Trump for showing the “courage” to keep a key campaign promise and says relations with the U.S. have never been stronger.
Trump called the move “simply a recognition of reality” that Israel – like every other sovereign nation – has the right to choose its own capital. “Yet for 70 years we neglected to extend this basic courtesy to Israel that we extend to other countries,” the president has stated. “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
Netanyahu says Mideast peace must be founded on what he says is the “truth” recognized by the U.S. “The truth is that Jerusalem has been and always will be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state,” he said.
Dr. David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church (El Cajon, CA), released the following statement:
“America is always stronger when she stands with her allies – a principle made all the more true when that nation is Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy and a beacon of freedom, prosperity, faith and the rule of law throughout the region and the world. For decades, president after president has promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and so, I want to commend this administration for finally and officially being the one to do it, following through on what is nothing less than a truly historic and courageous decision.
“We pray first for peace today and in the weeks ahead. We also pray that today would ultimately mark a new era of peace and diplomatic possibility in the region. And finally, we celebrate with the Jewish people as America recognizes, once and for all, Jerusalem’s rightful seat as Israel’s eternal capital city.”
Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (Matthews, NC), points out that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s connection to the nation of Israel is “a very personal one”:
“In speaking to Israelis, Prime Minister Netanyahu explained how his grandfather was beaten unconscious by an anti-Semitic mob in a train station in the heart of Europe at the end of the 19th century, pledging that if he survived the night, he would bring his family to the land of Israel and help build a new future for the Jewish people.
“Mr. Netanyahu went on to say, ‘I am standing here today as the Prime Minister of Israel because my grandfather kept his promise.’ God keeps His promises too, and He promised the land of Israel to the Jews forever. Their return is part of biblical prophecy. God gave that land to them by covenant.”
Dr. Alex McFarland is a Christian apologist and educator at North Greenville University (Greenville, SC). He argues for Trump’s place in history because of the embassy move.
“President Trump has made good on his many promises and accomplished several positive foreign policy goals, including those related to Israel, Iran and North Korea, and this will undoubtedly make him one of America’s greatest presidents since Ronald Reagan. The liberal media and his detractors might balk at this, but few rational people will deny that President Trump has already made history during his time in office. His actions in Israel alone are worthy of history books, especially after the frosty attitude toward Israel by this nation’s past administration.”
Longtime Israel supporter Pastor John Hagee, in an interview with Fox News ahead of Trump’s official announcement, offered this assessment of Trump’s place in history:
“I can assure you that 60 million evangelicals are watching this promise closely because if President Trump moves the embassy into Jerusalem, he will historically step into immortality. He will be remembered for thousands of years for his act of courage to treat Israel like we already treat other nations.
“If he does not, he will be remembered as just another president who made a promise he failed to keep, which would generate massive disappointment in that strong evangelical base that went to vote for him against Hillary Clinton.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.