8 Reactions to Trump Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital: From Biblical Prophecy to 'Day of Rage'

(PHOTO: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)U.S. President Donald Trump places a note in the stones of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 22, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Wednesday that America is to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has sparked both "day of rage" outcry and praise around the world.

Some have hailed the president for keeping his promise, while others have warned it will obstruct peace efforts in the Middle East.

Trump's administration has said the move is not intended to come on the side of Israel when it comes to territory dispute with Palestine, with the White House stating that it simply reflects the "fundamental truth" of Jerusalem's status.

"The president believes this is a recognition of reality," a White House official told reporters on Tuesday, according to Reuters. "We're going forward on the basis of a truth that is undeniable. It's just a fact."

Some evangelicals have hailed Trump's decision; many Islamic leaders have condemned it with grave warnings, while church leaders, such as Pope Francis, have expressed concern.

Here are eight reactions from world leaders, organizations, and faith figures.

1. Hamas

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(Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem)Young Palestinians take part in a military exercise graduation ceremony at a summer camp organised by Hamas's armed wing, east of Gaza City, July 22, 2016.

Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for its supporters to protest against the move, declaring that Trump has crossed a "red line."

"We call on the people of Palestine to declare 'rage day' on Friday against Israel, denying the U.S. plan to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital," a statement from the group said, as reported by Fox News.

"The youth and the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank need to respond with all means available to the U.S. decision that harms our Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a red line and the resistance will not allow any desecration of it," then statement added.

Senior Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh further called on Palestinians to resist efforts to "Judaize" Jerusalem, while Hamas' English social media accounts called on demonstrations before U.S. and Israeli embassies.

2. Mike Huckabee

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(Screenshot: YouTube)Mike Huckabee interviews President Donald Trump for the first episode of his TBN show "Huckabee" that airs on October 7, 2017.

Former Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a strong supporter of Israel, told Fox News that America is "finally doing something that we should've done a long time ago ... and that is to recognize that Jerusalem has been the capital of only one people over the past 4,000 years."

Huckabee argued that Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel, positioning that Palestinians did not come into being until 1962, when former leader Yasser Arafat took that name, which previously had applied to Jews.

"This is where the Jewish state should have its undisputed capital," he said of Jerusalem, calling it its "historic, indigenous land, and it's the right thing to do."

He praised Trump for upholding his promise, noting that U.S. presidents have been making but failing to keep their word on the issue for over 20 years.

3. Muslim World Leaders

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(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)U.S President Donald Trump (L) talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he arrives at the entrance to the West Wing of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 16, 2017.

The Islamic governments of Turkey, Jordan, Iran, and Syria were among many to condemn Trump's announcement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the move could ignite a "fire" in the Middle East, leading to a "great disaster."

Jordan's King Abdullah called for joint efforts to "deal with the ramifications of this decision and to counter any action that undermines the Palestinian people's aspirations for their own independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital," BBC News reported.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated: "It is out of despair and debility that they want to declare Jerusalem as capital of the Zionist regime [Israel]. On the issue of Palestine, their hands are tied and they can't achieve their goals."

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned on Wednesday that there will be "dangerous consequences" of Trump's plan, and said that the U.S. has revealed its "contempt for international law."

4. Pope Francis

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(Photo: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)Pope Francis leads a mass at the Contecar harbour in Cartagena, Colombia September 10, 2017.

Vatican leader Pope Francis seemingly cautioned against the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, arguing that there needs to be broader international agreement.

"My thought now goes to Jerusalem. In this regard, I cannot ignore my deep concern for the situation that has been created in recent days," Francis said on Wednesday, as reported by Catholic News Agency.

The pope issued a "heartfelt appeal" to the international community to ensure that "everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations."

The U.N. has argued that East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory, and that the city should become the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

5. Robert Jeffress

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(Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)U.S. President Donald Trump (L) is greeted by Pastor Jeffress at the Celebrate Freedom Rally in Washington, U.S. July 1, 2017.

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, much like Huckabee, backed Trump for taking a step that no other U.S. president has followed through on.

"Congratulations to President @realDonaldTrump for having the courage to do what no other @POTUS has done — recognizing Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel. Another promise made, another promise fulfilled," Jeffress tweeted.

The Texas megachurch pastor was strongly critical of former President Barack Obama for what he said was the refusal to back Israel when being blamed by the U.N. of putting up settlements in Palestinian territory east of Jerusalem last year.

Jeffress cited at the time an Old Testament passage from Joel 3 as a warning to those who seek to divide up "God's land."

"In verses two and three [it says] that God will judge any nation that divides the land that God gave to Israel," Jeffress stated.

6. Jerusalem's Christian leaders

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(Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)Members of the Greek Orthodox clergy await the arrival of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos before the washing of the feet ceremony outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, April 9, 2015, ahead of Orthodox Easter.

A joint letter signed by a number of major Christian church leaders in Jerusalem argued that declaring the city to be Israel's capital will not improve relations between believers there.

"We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division. We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all," the letter states, as shared by Newsweek.

"Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfill its destiny," it adds.

The Christian leaders asked Trump to think of Christmas and the "feast of peace" the season brings, and called on him to walk with them in building a "just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City."

7. Paula White 

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(Photo: White House/Screengrab)Pastor Paula White-Cain, spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump, speaks at the White House on the National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2017.

Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, Apopka, Fla., and head of Trump's evangelical advisory board, argued that evangelicals are "ecstatic" about Trump's decision. 

"Promise made. Promise kept. Once again, President Trump has shown the world what I have always known — he is a leader who is willing to do what is right however loud the voices are of the skeptics and the critics. Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends," she said in a statement sent to The Christian Post. 

"The Jewish people," she continued, "have dedicated themselves to Jerusalem over millennia, taken pride in it, defended it with blood and treasure, and today we rejoice with them as our president has done the sensible thing — he has let the State of Israel choose for itself its own capital.

"Christians, the world over, are not surprised and we call the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem — God's chosen city for God's chosen people."

8. Greg Laurie

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(Photo: Harvest America)Pastor Greg Laurie preaches at Harvest America at the University of Phoenix Stadium on June 11, 2017.

Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, Calif., argued that the founding of modern Israel was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and Jerusalem is Israel's "eternal capital." 

In a statement sent to The Christian Post, he said: 

"Jerusalem is the nerve center of the world geographically.

"Jerusalem is the salvation center of the world spiritually.

"Jerusalem is the glory center of the world ultimately.

"Jerusalem is the city of the past, the present and the future.

"This city was the capital of Israel under King David. David's son Solomon built the first temple, and the Shekinah glory came.

"Jesus taught, was crucified and was resurrected there.

"When the Jews formed a nation on May 14, 1948, it was a modern-day miracle. And — to Christians — it was a day of fulfilled prophecy. Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity after being scattered for hundreds of years — until Israel!

"God even uses Jerusalem as a picture of what we will see in Heaven in the 'New Jerusalem.'

"We are commanded in Scripture to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem.' God says of the Jewish people, and in effect, the nation Israel, 'Whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye' (Zechariah 2:8 NLT).

"That's why we stand with the Jewish people and the nation Israel. We bless them and thank God for them.

"Jerusalem is their eternal capital.

"All of these are reasons why I am grateful for the U.S. administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

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