'Trump should declare all of Jerusalem as Israel's capital'

Congressman Lee Zeldin says President Trump's trip to Israel presents 'perfect opportunity' to move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Eliran Aharon,

 Lee Zeldin (center)
Lee Zeldin (center)
Eliran Baruch

Speaking at the US Capitol at a special event marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation and unification, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said President Trump's trip to Israel presents "the perfect opportunity" to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Zeldin was flanked by Martin Oliner, President of the Center for Unity and of Religious Zionists of America. This is the text of his speech:

The message of you being here and what you will send in your meetings, not just with members of Congress, but with your contacts at the Administration, with those in the media and when you go back home, sets an agenda and priorities that hopefully – way past an election, when it comes time for governing – we'll see the passion that brings you all here to Washington DC today result in one victory after another.

And the victories that are still ahead... I would believe that next week, for the President's trip to Israel, it would present the perfect opportunity to announce that he is going to deliver on what was a campaign pledge, to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to follow through on that.

I happen to co-chair the House Republican Israel Caucus. I used to be both the lowest and highest ranking Jewish Republican in Congress. As you now, we've doubled our numbers, thanks to the election of David Kustoff in Tennessee's 8th District. So there are two of us; we still need to recruit a few more to have a minyan, so if any of you want to run, on our side of the aisle, we have little ways to go.

It also would be a great opportunity next week for the President to reinforce that without doubt, the capital of Israel is the entirety of Jerusalem, and the President should not let that opportunity pass him by.

As the President goes to pray at the Western Wall, I can't think of anyone who would be better to be accompanying him on that trip than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who should be invited and encouraged to pray at the Western Wall.

Some of the toughest challenges that are still unresolved that lie ahead, where courage is deeply tested, for America and our allies: We might speak to some, in other neighboring countries, whom we might look to as friends of ours, but we cannot be deterred one bit from fulfilling our commitments to ensuring that we celebrate a 100th anniversary and a 200th anniversary. That is us being here, renewing our pledge to combat anti-Semitism in any form, to combat the BDS movement on our college campuses, or foreign countries and companies trying to harm the Israeli economy today.

As we go through all of the challenges that face Israel, we stand shoulder to shoulder with her – not trying to be neutral when you have Palestinian terrorists trying to murder innocent Israelis and Americans, but leveraging our funds, to ensure that we are not providing taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority as long as they continue to incite violence and financially reward the murder of not just Israelis, but Americans as well, yes.

These are the challenges that require courage, beyond an election, when it comes time for governing. Your presence here and your activism when you go back home in educating others is key. For us to be back here one year from now, maybe celebrating a 51st... Why not? A good excuse for coming back together again. And to celebrate the big wins that we'll put up on the board, hopefully as early as next week, with hopefully and opportunity that does not pass us by.