Tags: Donald Trump | Israel | Middle East | jerusalem | capital | embassy | conservatives

Conservatives Laud Trump's Jerusalem Move: 'Long Overdue'

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 05:09 PM

Conservatives praised President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that "this is a day that is long overdue."

"Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel," the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement. "The city's status as the religious epicenter of Judaism is an historical fact — not a matter of debate.

"Today's announcement is a recognition of reality that in no way inhibits efforts to reach a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Ryan said.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that Trump's action "reflects the reality on the ground for the last 3,000 years.

"Why did the Trump Administration decide to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel?" Graham asked. "Because it always has been and always will be.

"Finally, the decision does not take other options off the table regarding a two-state solution."

In a speech at the White House, President Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and announced that his administration would also begin efforts to move the United States embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The transition is expected to take years — and Trump moved despite warnings worldwide that he would further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians with his decision.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the president said. "While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver.

"Today, I am delivering."

President Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

His immediate predecessors — Republican George W. Bush and Democrats Barack Obama and Bill Clinton — had consistently put off the decision to avoid inflaming tensions in the Middle East.

Jerusalem is home to sites holy to the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions. Its status has been one of the thorniest issues in longstanding Mideast peace efforts.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

But the Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed in a move that was never recognized internationally.

In the widespread praise among conservatives to Trump's recognition, California Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that "sovereign nations have a right to determine their seat of government.

"Our close ally, Israel, should not be treated differently.

"Relocating the U.S. Embassy should be done carefully, and in a way that advances our national security interests in a dangerous and unstable region," he said.

"The president wants peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And so do I," Royce continued. "But no solution can be imposed.

"A lot of difficult work lies ahead."

Utah Sen. Mike Lee called Trump's proclamation "bold," adding "we continue to hope for peace and longtime stability between Israelis and Palestinians.

"But the U.S. can no longer wait to do the right thing in recognizing the nation's rightful capital."

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, another Armed Services Committee member, noted President Trump was "following through on a promise made by many U.S. presidents in the past.

"Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an important step forward for Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East.

"It is essential that the United States continues to stand with our friends and trusted allies around the globe."

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said that with his declaration, President Trump remained "committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israel and Palestine."

Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said his organization remained "deeply grateful to President Trump for finally recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is the eternal, indivisible capital of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people.

"The president continues to deliver on his promise to the American people to strengthen the solidarity between the United States and the people of Israel.

"We are so grateful for President Trump's pro-Israel stance and his bold leadership."

Other Republicans took to Twitter:

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President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel drew praise from conservatives and House Speaker Paul Ryan saying "this is a day that is long overdue."
jerusalem, capital, embassy, conservatives, palestinians
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2017-09-06
Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 05:09 PM
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