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RI reacts to Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Rev. Don Anderson, who is the director of the State Council of Churches, has visited the area and fears the unilateral move by the American president will make progress on the path to peace more difficult. (WJAR) 

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he is moving the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump said it is only a recognition of the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

No other country, though, has taken that step, as Palestine still claims part of the city.

Meanwhile, three major religions have deep roots there.

Rev. Don Anderson, who is the director of the State Council of Churches, has visited the area and fears the unilateral move by the American president will make progress on the path to peace more difficult.

“Those people who are more moderately minded on both sides are going to be undercut by this, so that as they try to come together, the more radical elements on both sides are going to be able to take this and make a big deal out of this,” Anderson told NBC 10 News.

American Jews are not united in support for the move says Adam Greenman, from the Jewish Alliance, though Anderson acknowledges that “all of us agree we have hope for lasting peace in the region.”

He also highlighted the opinions of people he’s spoken with.

“I think there’s a large amount in the community that will look at this and say this is a wonderful decision it’s a wonderful step in the right direction,” Anderson said. “But I think there’s also folks in this community who worry about what a decision like this will mean for long term peace and stability, not just for the Palestinians, but for the people of Israel who are living there who really just want to live their lives.”

Trump said in his announcement that the move will support the peace process.

Tony Affigne, who is a political science professor at Providence College, said he thinks the move is more about fulfilling a campaign promise to evangelical Christians.

“He made a commitment to his base that he would make this change in US policy, and it appears that this decision, this announcement today, is primarily directed at his base,” Affigne said, adding that “it doesn’t fit very well with existing U.S. policy in the Middle East.”

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