A network of pro-Israel Christian leaders delivered a letter to President Trump this week thanking him for his “courageous declaration” of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his request that the State Department begin making preparations to move the U.S. Embassy there.
“This bold and righteous act has undoubtedly secured your place in history,” stated the letter spearheaded by American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI).
“We recognize the hand of God in all of this and thank you for your boldness and your commitment to fulfilling your promises,” the signatories added.
Last month, with a December 1 deadline looming, the group of U.S. Christian leaders sent a letter to the President urging him to fulfill his campaign promise to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and to not delay the move again.
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 on June 1. The next deadline for the waiver was December 1.
On December 6, President Trump affirmed that the United States does indeed recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and set in motion a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy to its rightful place there.
In response, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson commended the President on “taking these initial decisive steps to fulfill a campaign promise,” noting that Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East, and that the recognition of Israel’s true capital “is a very basic courtesy our nation should do to demonstrate our mutual friendship.”
“This is the right course and a step long needed,” Johnson stated. “More than ever, Christians must pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
In the ACLI’s December 19 letter, the group expressed hope that President Trump “will bring the same fresh thinking and new approach to the overall Israeli-Palestinian conflict and find a better solution to the problem than the current land-for-peace models.”
“We all want peace, but until the Palestinian people recognize Israel’s right to exist and agree to live in peace with the Jewish people there will be no peace,” the group stated before concluding its letter. “It is time to find a real solution, one based on reality and not wishful thinking. Your administration can do so.”
During NRB’s annual convention early this year, Proclaim 17, the association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution expressing support for Israel. The Board called on NRB members to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” and for the U.S. “to stand steadfastly by Israel, even as others malign, abandon, or attack her.” They also urged Christians to “reject and guard against the dangerous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.”
Next year, in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel, NRB will host a special session at Proclaim 18 in Nashville, Tennessee, that will feature Christian ministry leaders Kay Arthur and David Jeremiah; award-winning singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith; and others.
Proclaim 18 will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, February 27-March 2, 2018.
By NRB Staff
Published: December 21, 2017