In an exclusive interview with Reuters on April 28, 2017, President Trump was asked if he would use his trip to Israel as an opportunity to declare that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. Trump’s response:
“Ask me in a month on that.”
Many are reading into the statement and Trump’s trip to Israel that such an announcement is forthcoming, and that it will include confirmation that the US Embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, there has been increased indications in the media that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are being planned. It is very difficult to see how both an embassy announcement AND peace talks will ensue, as movement of the embassy is almost assured to create a rise in aggression and/or violence on the part of Arab nations.
So, is it worth it? There is huge debate and valid points on both sides. To move the embassy would indeed show resounding US support of Israel. That is important. Likewise, it is a fact that the Jewish Israeli government has managed to successfully maintain freedom of access to holy sites for all three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), and a valid argument exists that all government functions should be in Jerusalem. IsraelAnswers.com states it this way:
It is time for international powers to recognize the peace and religious freedom that Israeli governance has maintained and stop attempts to delegitimize their rule over the city.
On the other hand, some Israelis (including at least one well-known Messianic believer) have stated that Israel doesn’t need the distraction of more violence brought about by re-locating the US Embassy to Jerusalem. After all, they say, in this day and age of ease of travel and communication, the importance of the embassy being in Jerusalem is less important. Likewise, high ranking officials, including Benjamin Netanyahu, have not been very outspoken about a desire for the embassy to move.
Honestly, I can’t say that I have landed concretely on either side of the argument. Of course I want the United States to stand firmly with Israel. If that requires moving the embassy, then so be it. On the other hand, if Israel’s leaders have no issue with the embassy being in Tel Aviv, then why push the issue. Will diplomatic efforts be any more or less successful in one place or the other? I’m wondering whether or not there are other more important things on which to focus.
One thing I know for sure: it is not wise to attempt to project our own thoughts, ideas, and governance upon Jerusalem! Be reminded:
And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
~Zechariah 12:3 (NKJV)
But, let me end with this: Regardless of whether the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem, there is one embassy that moved in when all others moved out! When the Knesset made that fateful declaration that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, the UN urged all embassies to vacate Jerusalem. Every nation followed the directive. But a small group of believers, dead set on standing with Israel, founded the International Christian Embassy and moved into one of those embassy buildings left vacant! The ICEJ now has a presence in 140 countries around the world, representing and fostering Christian support of Israel
My friends, whether or not the US moves the Embassy to Jerusalem, YOU have an embassy in Jerusalem! We (Christians) are represented there, standing strong with Israel!