Trump said he 'moved the capital' of Israel to Jerusalem for evangelical Christians, who are 'more excited' about it than Jews
- Trump said Monday that he "moved the capital" of Israel to Jerusalem for evangelical Christians.
- That's for the evangelicals," he at a campaign rally. "You know, it's amazing with that: the evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people."
- He was likely referring to moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017 and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
President Donald Trump said Monday that he "moved the capital" of Israel to Jerusalem for evangelical Christians, who he says were more excited about it than Jewish people.
The president was likely referring to his 2017 order recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and moving the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv.
"We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. That's for the evangelicals," Trump said at a campaign rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. "You know, it's amazing with that: the evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people."
—Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) August 18, 2020
As president of a country nearly 7,000 miles away, Trump has no authority on actually moving a capital — Israel itself recognized Jerusalem as its own capital in 1980 — but his 2017 move was still controversial.
While East Jerusalem, including the historic Old City, has been under Israeli control since 1967, Palestinians view it as the capital of any future state. The city is historically and theologically important to people of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith.
The Arab world, as well as many US allies in Europe, had warned against the move. Now the US is one of the only countries outside of Israel that has recognized the city as Israel's capital.
Trump bragged in a "Fox and Friends" interview Monday that his role in a recent agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is beneficial to Evangelicals.
"It's an incredible thing for Israel. It's incredible for the Evangelicals by the way," he said. "The Evangelicals love Israel, love Israel."
—Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) August 17, 2020
The agreement came after Netanyahu repeatedly signaled plans to annex much of the West Bank, following an expansion of Israeli settlements there. The settlements are viewed as illegal under international law.
Under the terms of the new deal, Israel will halt annexation plans there and instead focus on creating formalized relations with other Arab countries.
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