President Donald Trump’s decision to designate Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel caused world leaders to denounce it as dangerous for stability in the Middle East. In Queens, lawmakers welcomed the move.
The president told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. would officially recognize Jersualem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to the city. He felt it was time to deliver a long-overdue promise and advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
State Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Jamaica Estates), co-president of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, called the president’s proclamation a “long-awaited and most welcome change.”
“Jerusalem is the official home of the Israeli government, and as a sovereign nation, Israel long-ago chose Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. Today’s announcement is a testament to the special bond between Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and the United States,” he said.
While U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) did not release an official statement, his spokesperson said that the Senator has long supported Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and sponsored a Senate resolution this year, which reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.
Additionally, The Hill reported Schumer advised Trump to declare Jerusalem the “undivided” capital of Israel ahead of his announcement.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) explicitly praised the efforts of Schumer in pushing the president. Schumer acknowledged he advised Trump to list Jersualem as Israel’s “undivided” capital.
“The Israeli government’s offices are located in Jerusalem, the capital, as is the Knesset,” Stavisky said. “Throughout the world, the U.S. embassies are in capital cities and I thank Sen. Schumer for helping to relocate our embassy to Jerusalem.”
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) said in a statement, “Israel, as a sovereign nation, determined its capital as Jerusalem. The United States, as its close ally and friend, should recognize this history and sovereignty”
A number of lawmakers did not respond to KCP when asked about Trumps decree.