Photo Credit: screenshot / Fox News

On Wednesday December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump took his place in history as the man who recognized the holy city of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel, and was brave enough to sign his name and his nation to the declaration.

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“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. He noted that although the city is important to the people of the three great monotheistic faiths of the world, Jews, Christians and Muslims, his predecessors “declined to acknowledge any capital at all.

It was a campaign promise that weighed on the president’s mind. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway reiterated to JewishPress.com reporter Dov Levi almost a year ago that President-elect Trump had “made that promise and he has shown his commitment to that.”

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious — that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” Trump called it “the right thing to do.” The American president then announced he was also instructing the State Department to take the necessary action to begin arrangements to build a state-of-the-art, beautiful new building in Jerusalem to facilitate the transfer of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, a process that will take years.

Following is the transcript of President Trump’s proclamation.

President Donald J. Trump’s Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel

“My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
– President Donald J. Trump

RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM: President Donald J. Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Today, December 6, 2017, President Trump recognized Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel.

In taking this action, President Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise of his and many previous Presidential candidates.
The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue.

President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995. This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Departments and Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region.
STATUS OF JERUSALEM: President Trump recognizes that specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem is highly sensitive and subject to final status negotiations.

President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.
President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.

President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.
COMMITTED TO THE PEACE PROCESS: President Trump is committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and he is optimistic that peace can be achieved.

Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not helped achieve peace over the past two decades.
President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, if agreed to by the parties.

* * *

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the president’s announcement with the acknowledgment of the deep significance of the day.

“This is a historic day. It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. It was here that our temples stood, our kings ruled, our prophets preached,” Netanyahu said.

“From every corner of the earth, our people yearned to return to Jerusalem, to touch its golden stones, to walk its hallowed streets. So it’s rare to be able to speak of new and genuine milestones in the glorious history of this city.

“Yet today’s pronouncement by President Trump is such an occasion. We’re profoundly grateful for the President for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here. This decision reflects the President’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace.

“The President’s decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. I share President Trump’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians. And we will continue to work with the President and his team to make that dream of peace come true. I call on all countries that seek peace to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move their embassies here.

“I also want to make clear: there will be no change whatsoever to the status quo at the holy sites. The Jewish people and the Jewish state will be forever grateful. This has been our goal from Israel’s first day. Israel will always ensure freedom of worship for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. President Trump, thank you for today’s historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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