JerusalemBrussels, December 6th, 2017 – The European Coalition for Israel welcomes the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel by the United States of America.

“This announcement, whilst long overdue, is a recognition of reality”, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said in a statement on Wednesday evening. “The undisputed facts on the ground are that Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli government, its judiciary and its parliament, the Knesset. Each time a foreign dignitary has travelled to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli leaders, they have already recognized its status as the de-facto capital of Israel.”

He noted that “since King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago, the city has served as the national capital of only one people group, the Jewish people”.

While the US announcement recognises Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, it leaves many of the most contested issues open to final status negotiations.

In a conference in the European Parliament in Brussels earlier in the day, ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker reminded the audience that “Israel is a democratic state built on the rule of law which seeks to protect the civil and religious rights of all its citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike.” “There can be no better guarantee for an open and inclusive Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims can continue to worship side by side at their respective holy sites than under Israeli sovereignty.”

While welcoming the US recognition, ECI calls for moderation, calm and dialogue among all parties.

ECI calls on all faith leaders to renounce violence and seek paths to peace and co-existence and calls for prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.

The European Coalition for Israel has consistently campaigned for international recognition of a united Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. On 5th June 2017 in New York, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, ECI handed over an open letter entitled “Keep Jerusalem United as the Capital of the State of Israel ” to Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, which was signed by more than 100 global leaders, among them government ministers and parliamentarians of many nations.