President Donald Trump’s proclamation on Wednesday “officially recognizing Jerusalem as [Israel’s] capital” and his decision to relocate the “United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem as soon as practicable” has rocked the world.
The measure certainly has its opponents, including Pope Francis and the heads of some Christian churches in Jerusalem. In fact, 13 church leaders from Greek, Syrian and Armenian Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and other traditions signed a letter to Trump that warned of potential repercussions, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” the letter read.
Pope Francis, who spoke out on Wednesday before Trump’s announcement, asked that the status quo be respected.
“I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,” the pontiff said.
But plenty of support also streamed in from a variety of sources. Nathan Diament, executive director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, for instance, heralded the decision, according to NPR.
“It’s been the consensus mainline view for decades, because Jerusalem is the capital city for Israel and the Jewish people,” he said. “The United States puts its embassies in capital cities, and it’s unjust and discriminatory to say we’re going to single out Israel as the one country where we don’t put our embassy [in the capital].”