The Federation issued this statement on Dec. 6.
The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee welcomes President’s Trump formal recognition today of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. At the same time, we appreciate the President emphasizing that the final status of Jerusalem along with other matters related to a future peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians can only be determined through direct negotiations between the two parties. We are also encouraged by President’s Trump decision to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to do so in a measured way over a period of time that will ensure it will be, as the President stated, ‘a tribute to peace.’
The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee has traveled on missions to Israel many times since the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and each and every time our delegations have heard Israeli leaders stress that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and of the Jewish people. We have also witnessed firsthand how Israel has gone to great lengths to ensure that Jerusalem’s religious holy places of the three faiths that share Jerusalem and the religious rights of Jews, Christians and Muslims are maintained in a respectful and appropriate manner.
Today’s statement by President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of his intention to move the U.S. embassy should not be exploited by extremist elements whose only goals are to foment violence against Israeli citizens, both Jews and Arab, and to challenge the legitimacy of the Jewish state. We call upon Arab and Muslim leaders throughout the Middle East to demonstrate a new maturity of leadership by appealing to their constituents to eschew violence and to work toward a meaningful peace agreement with their Israeli neighbors. •