The Zionist Organization of America strongly praised President Donald Trump for announcing Wednesday the U.S. will officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In his announcement, Trump said he was fulfilling a campaign promise, one made by several presidents since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 said the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s announcement said it was acknowledging the obvious to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, The New York Times reported, calling it a “recognition of reality” and “the right thing to do.”
While saying Trump’s action is a “message of American strength,” ZOA President Morton A. Klein also disputed in a release Trump’s comment that Jerusalem was “the ‘heart’ of Islam,” maintaining that while an Islamic holy site is in Jerusalem, the city itself is “not holy to Islam.”
The ZOA has previously expressed its concern over previous statements that Trump wants to “maintain the status quo” in which the Muslim Wakf controls the Temple Mount and refuses to allow Jews to pray there, the release stated.
Still, Klein agreed with Trump’s contention that not moving the Embassy for 22 years did not help to bring about peace and that it was time for a different strategy. Klein also appreciated Trump’s contention that Israeli rule has included freedom of religion.
“Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem strengthens American security and enhances worldwide respect for America by demonstrating the U.S. can be counted on to keep her commitments to her allies, and will not be intimidated and show weakness by appeasing radical Islamic threats,” Klein said.
Klein testified in November at a Congressional hearing about relocating the embassy to Jerusalem.