Vice President Mike Pence this week reaffirmed the commitment of the Trump administration to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Speaking to a summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Pence said the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is “not a question of if, it is only when.”
The Jerusalem Embassy Act, which was enacted in October 1995, declared clearly that Jerusalem is the political capital of Israel. Finding that the U.S. “maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel,” this law required that the embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. However, the statute includes an option for its mandate to be waived by the President for six months, if “necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.” That option has been exercised by the White House every six months for two decades, most recently last month.
Following the June 1 decision to delay, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, expressed disappointment but also conviction that President Trump would follow through on his promise. He added, “U.S. administrations have delayed enforcing the law for 20 years and to what effect? America’s recognition of the capital city of our foremost and only democratic ally in the Middle East should not be a bargaining chip.”
Pence was very clear about the unwavering friendship of the U.S. with Israel under the Trump administration, and he expressed his own commitment as well. He told the CUFI audience that Israel’s story is a testament that God keeps His promises. He added:
We stand with Israel today and every day, because the American people throughout our history have always cherished Israel. We stand with Israel because our bond was knit millennia ago in the finery of faith. And we stand with Israel because millions of Americans throughout the generations of this country have embraced that ancient truth and admonition that He will bless those who bless her, and He will curse those who curse her. Indeed, though Israel was built by human hands, it is impossible not to sense that just beneath its history, lies the hand of heaven.
He urged Christians to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: July 21, 2017