Central Ohio faith leaders react to Pres. Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

A view of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, some of the holiest sites for for Jews and Muslims, is seen in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rabbi Avi Goldstein at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Columbus says he was very excited by President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Goldstein said. “Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital, has always been for thousands of years and what’s most important about the peace process is to recognize the character of the Jewish state.”

The intensity of feelings about Jerusalem is unparalleled. It is the home of the first Jewish temples. For Christians, it’s the place where Christ was crucified. And for Muslims, it’s where the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

Columbus attorney and Palestinian-American Mazen Rasoul says no good can come from the president’s declaration.

“This is absolutely not what the people want,” Rasoul said. “It’s not what Palestinians want, not what Arabs want, not what Muslims or Christians want and not what really many Israeli’s want because they know this is not going to lead anywhere.”

Trump said he plans to eventually move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Right away – the president’s announcement sparked violence in a number of places in the region.

Capital University professor of religion Dr. Sally Stamper says for Palestinians, the idea that Jerusalem cannot be their capital is devastating.

“I can’t imagine any greater stumbling block for a two state solution,” Stamper said. “That puts everything in a new light.”

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