Many Arabs and Islamic nations are outraged that President Trump has officially recognized what Jews have claimed for centuries—namely, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.” Realistically, the president was simply stating a fact—as the seat of the Jewish government, the Knesset, is in Jerusalem. However, much of the Arab world has adamantly refused to concede this fact for decades.
The Bible supports the Jewish claim. Jerusalem’s first king/priest was Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid a tithe. Later, the mountains of Jerusalem became the site where Abraham offered his son Isaac. It was the legendary King David who eventually chose Jerusalem to be the capital of the growing Hebrew kingdom some three thousand years ago.
Many commentators have noted that Trump’s move is merely following through on the promises of several earlier presidents. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama each said, if elected, they would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. They all delayed, fearing the political fallout.
Indeed, no country, at present, has its embassy in Jerusalem. The U.S. outpost is currently in Tel Aviv, as are other foreign delegations. According to media reports, it will take several years for the American embassy to relocate.
Palestinian leaders have called for “days of rage” as a response to the move, which they said harms the peace process in the region. (No word on how calling for “days of rage” will help the peace process.) Moreover, Jordan’s King Abdullah denounced it, as did Emanuel Macron, France’s president. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an Islamic summit to counter the declaration, saying recognition of Jerusalem by the United States is “a red line for Muslims.”
Even Pope Francis got on the bandwagon, expressing “profound concern” and appealing for the president to respect existing U.N. resolutions.
The headline on one paper read, “Trump inflames the Middle East.” Americans in Israel have been cautioned to avoid public gatherings.
While Orthodox Jews are naturally ecstatic, the response of Christian leaders is mixed. Some evangelicals think this represents a major step toward Israel rebuilding the Jewish Temple. Others believe this move will lead to a Middle East war and be the catalyst for the antichrist “to enter the glorious land” (Daniel 11:41).
The majority of the world’s religious people, Jews, Arabs, and Christians, recognize Jerusalem as a holy city. It’s hard to predict what the actual fallout will be other than impassioned words— it could range from a few heated protests and demonstrations to major terrorist attacks.
However, this event could have prophetic implications. In Revelation 13:11, America is identified as having a role at the end of time: “I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” When that end-of-time beast speaks “like a dragon,” it will direct people to worship and participate in an antichrist religion.