JERUSALEM, Israel – Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan is heading the American delegation attending the ceremony in Jerusalem marking the US Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, President Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, US congressmen and American Jewish and Christian leaders are also part of the group.
President Trump is being hailed as courageous for implementing a 23-year-old law mandating the move. The long-awaited decision represents a significant turning point for the city and the Jewish people.
All this excitement comes 70 years to the day after US President Harry Truman became the first world leader to recognize the modern state of Israel.
"I think America is coming in alignment with biblical truth," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
The Bible mentions Jerusalem and Zion almost 1,000 times, and Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years.
"This is the theme that's in our spiritual DNA and therefore when the president of the United States moves the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, he is addressing something at the core of Jewish identity," former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold told CBN News.
Ambassador Dore Gold, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
President Trump is making history as he moves the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The story starts thousands of years ago when King David captured Jerusalem and made it his capital. Four hundred years later, the Jewish people are expelled to Babylon for 70 years, then return to rebuild the Second Temple with the help of Persia's King Cyrus.
Gold says Trump's embassy move might even compare to that of the biblical king.
"That was a huge charitable act on his part, which is in our historical memory and the fact that now President Trump is going to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem puts him in a special category and perhaps even the category with the ancient King Cyrus of Persia," he said.
Fast forward to 1967 and the Six-Day War when Israel reunites Jerusalem under its sovereignty. Then in 1980, Israel officially makes Jerusalem its capital and countries from all over the world move their embassies from the city in protest.
"The Christian Embassy was founded after 13 national embassies left Jerusalem and it provided a unique moment where the Jewish people were willing to accept our hand of friendship," said David Parsons, with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. As a lawyer, he helped draft the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by Congress in 1995, mandating the embassy move to Jerusalem.
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
"Now, 22 years later after all these delays and waivers, it's back to our order. Trump has recognized Jerusalem," Parsons said. "The ambassador's going to be working here, and then they're going to start building the building so it's a moment of personal vindication for me," Parsons said.
Tony Perkins and Michele Bachmann serve on President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Council. They both said the move will be good for the US, other nations and Mideast peace.
"The scripture is pretty clear on that and that those who bless Israel will be blessed," Perkins said.
Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said Israel has always battled propaganda.
"Israel's enemies have always fought on the propaganda argument of words, the fact that Israel was illegitimate and had no right to this land," Bachman told CBN News. "President Trump, excuse the pun, played a trump card. He's taken the article off the table. He said, look we aren't even going to talk about this anymore – Jerusalem is or isn't Israel's, it is. We're making a decision. It is."
President Trump's decision effectively recognizes the western part of the city as Israel's capital. Most holy sites are in the eastern sector.
Gold says only in a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty would those sites be protected.
"Well Jerusalem's been the capital of the Jewish people, as I said, for 3,000 years. I don't see that changing. I think as long as we have freedom of worship, freedom of access guaranteed, I think that many in the Arab world will acquiesce to the idea that Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel," he concluded.