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On Dec 6th 2017, President Donald Trump made a historic announcement by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and intending to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It has been compared in its significance to Israel being declared as a state in 1948. The United States was the first country to recognize Israel as a state on May 14th, 1948, under the leadership of President Harry Truman. Then as now, the President did so despite opposition from parts of his administration including the Secretary of State, and ally nations. 

Not many truly understand why evangelical Christians feel so strongly about the right of Jews to a Jewish state. Liberal host at MSNBC, Chris Mathews is a surprising example of this ignorance. He stated that Christians support Israel based on a ‘mythical’ belief that if Jews are all back in Israel, the second coming of Christ will be triggered. Unlike Islamic theology, Christian thought does not assign a role to Christians in forcing the hand of God to accelerate the second coming of the Messiah. The Bible says it is not for us to know the time or the hour. And God certainly does not need a helping hand when setting times and dates. 
As Apostle Paul explains, the church is grafted into the tree that had Israel as its natural branches. This vivid imagery is supposed to explain that Gentiles have been made partakers of the promises that God made to Israel. On this basis, Gentile Christians feel a kinship with Israel. They also understand that God is not done with Israel and His covenant with ethnic Israel will be fulfilled. 
The Old Testament assures readers that in the last days, there will be a regathering of the Jewish people to Israel. There are several Biblical prophecies that describe the efforts to dispossess Jews of their land, of their enemies’ determination to annihilate them, and how finally God Himself in the midst of all nations, comes to their rescue. 
In the centre of this divine series of events, is a tiny plot of land, in a nation the size of New Jersey. Revered by all 3 monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, this piece of real estate, is a perennial tinderbox. One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem has been attacked, besieged, destroyed and then rebuilt multiple times. King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his son Solomon built the first temple there. In AD 70, Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed by the Romans, Jews were exiled from their land, and were scattered to the ends of the earth, again, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Since then, Jews have yearned to return to their homeland, capturing that longing at the end of every Passover seder, with the traditional phrase, “next year in Jerusalem”. 

The fact is President Trump did nothing more than acknowledge a historical reality – Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel. Under Israeli administration, lies the best hope for Muslims, Christians and Jews to worship freely and unhindered. Yet ironically, Jews are not allowed to pray on the temple mount, where the Al-Aqsa mosque now stands, despite having historical claim to that ground. Jews only have access to the wailing wall, believed to be the Western wall of the second Jewish temple, which was undertaken as a massive building project by King Herod before the dawn of the first century AD.
Arabs enjoy more freedom, personal liberties and opportunities for education, advancement and material success in Israel, than anywhere else in the Middle East. They occupy positions of power in the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and are employed as doctors, teachers and lawyers, owing to the secular and democratic fabric of Israeli society. It is not only accurate to strike off the contention around Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, but also righteous. 
Jerusalem is poised to become the prophesied ‘cup of trembling’, ‘the burdensome stone’, setting the stage for all nations gathering against it. The evangelical affiliation toward Israel is knit together by an appreciation of the historical claims of the Jews, the understanding that the free exercise of all religions is made possible by Israel’s democratic foundation, and the knowledge that compassion for Palestinians is best extended through support for an Israel that respects and protects their human rights, even at great cost to themselves. 

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