Jerusalem’s Old City walls were illuminated with the Israeli and US flags in appreciation to Trump for recognizing the Israeli capital. The Israeli leadership and main opposition parties expressed appreciation to the American president.
“President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a historic declaration that sends a clear message to the entire world that the United States stands alongside the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Jerusalem,” Mayor Barkat stated Wednesday evening.
“As a gesture and expression of the courageous friendship between the American people and the people of Israel, we decided to illuminate the walls of the Old City with the American and Israeli flags,” the mayor said. “The Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount are the ultimate symbols of the strength and connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem for over 3,000 years. Shecheyanu – that we have lived to see this day!”
The mayor’s sentiments were echoed by the Israeli leadership.
“This is a historic day. It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed immediately after the American president’s speech announcing official US recognition of the Israeli capital.
President Reuven Rivlin tweeted, “There is no more fitting or beautiful gift, as we approach 70 years of the State of Israel’s independence. Jerusalem is not, and never will be, an obstacle to peace for those who want peace.”
“We welcome this courageous decision by President Trump,” Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon declared. “In 1948, President Truman was the first world leader to recognize the State of Israel, and today President Trump righted an historic wrong by recognizing Jerusalem as our capital. Now is the time for all UN member-states to follow the lead of our American friends and recognize our ancient capital of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
Hotovely: ‘I hope more countries will follow’
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, “Today marks a historic day. We welcome the courageous and just decision made by our friend, the United States by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
“For 3000 years Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Jewish people. This decision is reflecting a historical truth and a reality. We would like to say that this decision is opening a new chapter of the international community recognizing Jerusalem. I really hope more countries will follow and will adopt this important decision.”
“Jerusalem was and will remain our eternal capital, but now there’s also recognition,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein stated. “I certainly welcome US President Donald Trump’s admission, and call on all the countries that see themselves as Israel’s friends to follow in his footsteps.”
“We must believe in the righteousness of our path and not be alarmed by threats,” he affirmed.
Israel’s major opposition parties, Labor and Yesh Atid, also welcomed Trump’s announcement.
Naysayers and Skeptics
There were a number of naysayers and skeptics, however, including Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism, who said that “Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cost us dearly, and he will hurt us with his diplomatic plan. Better that we build in parts of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem that need housing than a declaration that means nothing.”
“Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the entire region on fire with his madness,” Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, an alliance of Arab-majority parties, stated. “The last few days prove decisively that the United States cannot remain the sponsor or arbitrator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“Jerusalem is the Israeli capital and will continue to be with or without the US embassy.” Zehava Gal-On, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, said. “Moving the embassy could serve Netanyahu but could also bring about an unnecessary explosion.”