The International Christian Embassy (ICEJ) voiced its support for the planned move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and cited “diplomatic missteps” made by eight nations that have opposed the move.
In a news release dated Feb. 25, the ICEJ – founded in 1980 as “a permanent representation of global Christian solidarity with Israel” – supported U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to formally implement longstanding American policy by moving the U.S. Embassy. In the same release, the ICEJ announced plans to lobby other nations on behalf of the move.
“We are very grateful once again that the Trump administration is continuing to carry through with its commitment to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, where it has always belonged,” said ICEJ President Jürgen Bühler. “We join the Israeli people and government in saluting this well-timed gesture. The Christian Embassy also is hopeful other nations will quickly follow suit, and we are working to ensure that outcome through our various national branches and activists worldwide.”
The ICEJ announced that it is actively urging leaders of numerous other nations to join the United States by also relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. Their efforts include letter campaigns and direct lobbying of government leaders by their local Christian communities.
The Christian Embassy release also notes that eight nations who voted for the December 2017 UNGA resolution (which opposed the relocation of the U.S. Embassy) were “instantly in violation of its terms, which explicitly called upon all nations ‘to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.’”
“Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom all supported the [UNGA] resolution and yet…each has embassies or consulates in Jerusalem which openly serve as their chief diplomatic missions to the Palestinian Authority.”
“The international community has always called for an even-handed approach to Jerusalem, so as not to prejudge this sensitive final-status issue,” Bühler stated. “Yet [the above nations] have never been called out for violating this principle by placing their chief missions to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. It turns out the demand for neutrality has just been a hollow pretext for denying the Jewish people and state their rightful place in Jerusalem. So no nation can now complain when a country decides to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.”
The ICEJ has made available online copies of Bühler’s letters to leaders of the eight nations standing in violation of the UNGA resolution as well as photos of their Jerusalem embassies to the Palestinian Authority. Bühler’s letter to United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, for example, reads in part:
“We noted with interest your nation’s recent vote in favour of the United Nations General Assembly resolution (ES-10/L.22 – 21 December 2017) which demanded that the United States withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“This resolution explicitly called upon all nations ‘to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.’ Yet your nation was instantly in violation of this very resolution, which you fully supported, in that the United Kingdom has an embassy/consulate in Jerusalem which openly serves as your chief diplomatic mission to the Palestinian Authority. I believe it is important to bring this diplomatic misstep to your attention.”
“We call upon you to join the United States by announcing your official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…there is no valid reason to deny Jerusalem its rightful place as Israel’s capital,” Bühler’s letter to May concludes.