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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2:40 pm

Banks supports Jerusalem recognition

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, applauded President Donald Trump's announcement Wednesday that he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate a U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

"For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish heritage and life. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sends a strong message to the world that America stands with our cherished ally," Banks said in a statement.

Reps. Luke Messer, R-6th, and Todd Rokita, R-4th – who are vying for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat from Indiana – also supported Trump's decision.

Messer said in a statement: "This recognition is long overdue. Hoosiers agree that Israel is our most important ally in the region, and President Trump's decision reaffirms our commitment to stand with the Jewish State."

Rokita said in a statement: "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the United States embassy rightfully should reside there. ... President Trump and I are strong allies of Israel and I will continue working to maintain and enhance this relationship.”

Leaders of predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East have condemned Trump's decision, saying it could hamper efforts to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as their capital.

Congress approved legislation in 1995 urging the federal government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and place an embassy there, but U.S. presidents have rejected the proposal until now. 

"It is great to have a president who is finally enforcing the law passed by Congress in 1995 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Banks said in his statement.