Jewish and Christian religious communities across the nation are celebrating President Donald Trump’s decision this week to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — a promise presidents from both parties have made, but only Trump has honored.
Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), told CBN News: “What President Trump is doing is one of the most courageous political things that’s been done in Washington in a long time.”
In a Facebook video posted Wednesday, the day of Trump’s announcement, Hagee said that Trump’s decision would be “eternally celebrated.”
“Let’s unite together on this historic day to pray for our President, our nation and the nation of Israel like never before,” he said in a note accompanying the video.
In synagogues on Saturday morning, rabbis noted Trump’s accomplishment, which came just days before the start of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, which celebrates the victory of the Macabees over the Seleucid Greeks and the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago.
There was no shortage of Biblical references for clergy to use in putting Trump’s decision in religious context.
Israel’s Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, referred to the Book of Ezra, in which the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Holy Temple.
Hagee referred to Zechariah 2:12, which warns nations against harming Israel, “for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.”
Others cited Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.”
And given the muted protests in the Arab and Muslim world — far less violent and destructive than what had been predicted — the story of Numbers 13, in which Joshua and Caleb urged the people to enter the Land of Israel without fear of their enemies, is relevant.
Speakers at a rally in San Francisco referred to “occupied Jerusalem,” as if the western part of the city, which was developed almost entirely by Jews, is also “occupied.” One declared: “Jerusalem is Palestinian, and will always be Palestinian.”
In Ottawa, Canada, a crowd chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” referring to the destruction of all of the State of Israel. They also chanted, in Arabic: “With soul, with blood, we will redeem you, O Palestine.”
In Gothenburg, Sweden, 20 masked men firebombed a synagogue as a Jewish youth group held a party inside.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.