|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2017
WASHINGTON (NRB) – NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson joined Jewish and Christian leaders from across the country, along with co-chairs and members of the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, for a Jerusalem Day event on Capitol Hill Tuesday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and establishing Israeli control over the Old City after the 1967 Six-Day War.
During the event’s press conference organized by the Israel Allies Foundation, Johnson and others made the case for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“The United States of America must be a true friend to Israel and mean it,” he said. “If we mean it, we’ll do it.”
Johnson stated that the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act has established clearly in U.S. law that Jerusalem is the political capital of Israel.
“We don’t want to go into the negotiating room when we’ve already passed a law and act like established law is up for negotiation,” he said. “It’s the law. We’re going to do it. And when we start negotiating about other things, all parties will take us seriously that when we say something we will do it.”
Johnson also pointed out that Israel is America’s top ally in the region, but has been treated with suspicion and not allowed to pick its own capital as every other country has been able to do.
“For the last few years, the United States government has given our ally’s adversary, Iran, the benefit of the doubt, and treated Israel with suspicion,” he said. “And I am so glad to see this reset, where the new President is saying, ‘We give Israel the benefit of the doubt, and call out Iran for its transgressions.’”
Moreover, from a religious lens, Johnson noted that Jerusalem has millennia of history as the political and cultural capital of the Jewish people, being mentioned in the Bible on hundreds of occasions while noticeably not in text regarded as holy by other religions.
“There is no comparison,” he said. “It’s a contrast.”
To those who say such a move would incite terrorism, Johnson noted how there have been many acts of terrorism in the 20 years that the law hasn’t been upheld.
“So just for practical reasons, we ought to try something different,” he said.
Johnson concluded with a call to prayer for Jerusalem.
“Today, we’re here to say we’re praying for Jerusalem. We’re working for Jerusalem. We’re speaking for Jerusalem,” Johnson said.
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