Conference of Presidents Welcomes Historic U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

New York, N.Y.. . . The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations today welcomed the statement by President Donald J. Trump asserting U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and beginning the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, of the Conference of Presidents issued the following statement:

“Today, nearly seventy years after the founding of the modern State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, the United States has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Since 1949 the seat of Israel’s government has been in Jerusalem. This historic change in U.S. policy rights a longstanding injustice. 

Although President Trump renewed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, he confirmed that the multi-year process for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem envisioned by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress in passing the Jerusalem Embassy Act and supported by both Republican and Democratic Party platforms for more than twenty years, would begin now. 

As the President noted, nothing in the decision announced today pre-empts negotiations over any core issue in the conflict, including the final boundaries of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem. 

It is our hope the decisions announced by President Trump will enhance the prospects for progress toward peace.  We look forward to continued strong U.S. leadership and support the President’s commitment to facilitating meaningful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Conference of Presidents is gratified that its decades-long policy calling for U.S. recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem has now been realized.  

In the fifty years since Israel reunified Jerusalem, it has demonstrated an enduring commitment, enshrined in Israeli law, to protect Muslim, Christian and Jewish Holy Sites and to assure freedom of access to them for worshippers of all faiths.

We are deeply disturbed by statements emanating from the Palestinian Authority and others in the Muslim world threatening dire consequences, including violence, for U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  These threats echo decades of belligerence and incitement and serve to further erode the credibility of the Palestinian leadership’s commitment to resolving the conflict. The Palestinian Authority, Israel’s neighbors in the region, and all governments must act clearly and directly to prevent the outbreak of violence.

For nearly 3,500 years, the Jewish people have maintained an indivisible bond to Jerusalem.  It is truly fitting that President Trump has taken this step just days before Jews all over the world begin celebrating the festival of Chanukkah marking the return of Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple, the holiest site in Judaism, more than 2,000 years ago.  U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel also sends a strong message to the international community that attempts in the UN to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem are counterproductive and will not succeed.”

 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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