On Wednesday Dec 6, President Donald Trump declared that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement was greeted in disbelief by world leaders, anger in the Arab world and rejoicing in most but not all of Jewish as well as in many Christian circles. What most people do not know is that the US Congress had passed a bill recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as far back as 1996, but a series of American Presidents had exercised their right of waiver to defer recognition. They included Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Why is this announcement so controversial?
There are a variety of reasons. For a start, there are no embassies in Jerusalem; they are all in Tel Aviv. So the US would be the first. Secondly, recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would go against a UN resolution passed in 1980 that condemned the Israeli Knesset for declaring Jerusalem as its “undivided” capital. That move was seen as a backdoor annexation of East (Muslim) Jerusalem. Thirdly, the Palestinians have always seen Jerusalem as their capital but, while the world has always sought a two-nation peace process to settle Jerusalem’s status as a shared capital, negotiations have stalled largely because the Palestinians are opposed to Israel’s existence.
So up steps Trump who insists that as previous non-recognition of Jerusalem has not worked in bringing peace for the past 70 years, he was convinced a reversal of this should be tried. He is a truly brave President (some might say foolish). What follows after this? Hear the prophet Zechariah: “And it shall come to pass in that day that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone unto all the peoples: all that burden themselves with it shall be wounded and all the nations shall be assembled together against it” (Zech 12:3). This much is sure. God will protect the city, and her people, and stand against those who gather against her. While the world rages, we pray for her peace. For those who do so shall prosper (Ps 122:6).
在12月6日(星期三), 美国总统川普 (Donald Trump) 宣布承认耶路撒冷为以色列的首都 。 多国领袖都对此宣布感到难以置信，沙地阿拉伯更是愤怒，但大部分的犹大人和基督徒群体欢呼雀跃。许多人可能都不知道其实美国国会自1996年以前就早已通过承认耶路撒冷为以色列的首都，但历任的美国总统如比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)，乔治·布什 (George W Bush) 和 巴拉克·奥巴马 (Barrack Obama)都行使其权限延迟落实这项法案。为何此宣布会那么富争议性呢？
这可能是有多个原因的: 首先，耶路撒冷没有外交大使馆; 它们都设在特拉维夫，因此美国将会是那里的第一个大使馆国家。第二，承认耶路撒冷为以色列首都将违背联合国在1980年以谴责以色列议会宣布耶路撒冷为“不可分割”的首都的决议。此举被视为以色列由“后门”并吞东（穆斯林）耶路撒冷的一个政治手段。第三，巴勒斯坦人一向把耶路撒冷视为其首都。虽然世界都在努力推动两国和平进程以达到耶路撒冷作为“共享首都”的共识，但谈判停滞不前，主要原因是巴勒斯坦人反对以色列国的存在。
川普 (Donald Trump)坚信这样的步骤的原因是基于在过去70年以来不承认耶路撒冷都无法带来和平，他认为应该尝试这样的逆转。他是一个很勇敢的总统 (有的人可能认为他是愚昧的)。那接下的演变将会如何呢？且听先知撒迦利亚说：“到那天，当地上的列国聚集起来攻击耶路撒冷的时候，我要使耶路撒冷成为一块沉重的石头。凡试图举起它的，必伤自己。” 【撒迦利亚书12：3】。这是非常肯定的，上帝会保护这个城市还有她的人民、对抗那些聚集攻击她的。当全世界都在愤怒，我们要为耶路撒冷的和平祷告。因那些这样做的人都会亨通 【诗篇 122:6】。
Philip Lyn 医生牧师