Released today from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations:
Statement Regarding the U.S. Embassy in Israel
Today, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a move that would reverse more than 50 years of U.S. foreign policy. This decision could have profound ramifications on the peace process and the future of a two-state solution, and it could have a negative impact throughout the region and with key U.S. allies. The Episcopal Church Office is joining with Churches for Middle East Peace and many other organizations in opposing any effort to move the Embassy.
Since 1985, the Episcopal Church has had policy opposing the movement of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Our policy states that the status of Jerusalem must be “determined by negotiation and not by unilateral action by any one community, religion, race or nation.”
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has joined with patriarchs and heads of local churches in Jerusalem in opposing this move. We support Archbishop Suheil and value his perspective and expertise. As Episcopalians and Anglicans, we reiterate our view that the final status of Jerusalem, a city important to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, needs to be negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians with the support of our nation and the international community.
Mr. President, we have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division. We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.
Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support with our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfil its destiny. The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.
Christmas is upon us soon. It is a feast of peace. The Angels have sung in our sky: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to the people of good will. In this coming Christmas, we plea for Jerusalem not to be deprived from peace, we ask you Mr. President to help us listen to the song of the angels. As the Christian leaders of Jerusalem, we invite you to walk with us in hope as we build a just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City.