‘Take It Up with God,’ Graham Tells Critics of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

The senator thanked Trump for fulfilling his campaign promise with the relocation to the capital from Tel Aviv

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 14 May 2018 at 7:44 PM

Anybody with “a problem” on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should “take it up with God,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner Monday, following the opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Graham voted in 1995 to pass the Jerusalem Embassy Act requiring relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Although previous U.S. presidents promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the embassy accordingly, the move only occurred after President Donald Trump fulfilled his 2016 campaign promise. He officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and ordered the embassy relocation.

“Thank you, President Trump,” Graham told Faulkner. “There is no nation on Earth that provides us with better intelligence about radical Islam than Israel. There is nobody that tells us more about Iran than Israel.” Graham led the Senate delegation at the embassy’s opening ceremony

“So Israel makes us safer, and the least we can do is recognize their capital,” Graham continued. “If you’ve got a problem with Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, take it up with God.”

Although Israel claims Jerusalem as its rightful capital, Palestine claims East Jerusalem as the capital of its future state. Deadly protests across the Israeli-Gaza border leading up to the U.S. Embassy's opening ceremony left dozens of Palestinians dead.

But Graham and the other three senators Faulkner interviewed following the opening of the new U.S. Embassy expressed their gratitude to Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"This was a big day. This was an important day," Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told Faulkner. "This was recognizing something that was already the case: Jerusalem was and is Israel's capital. Today we acknowledged that by putting our embassy here."

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) emphasized that "the only reason that we are here is President Trump kept his promise."

"We've had numerous, numerous presidents that said that this day was going to come, and it only came because President Trump kept his promise," Heller said. "This is a game-changer, game-changer for this nation and our nation."

Former President Bill Clinton said in 1992 that "Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel and must remain an undivided city accessible to all." Former President George W. Bush claimed in 2000 that he would "begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen" as its capital "as soon as I take office."

Former President Barack Obama insisted in 2008 that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." None of that presidential trio followed through on his promise.

Related: U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Is Promise Made, Promise Kept

Pointing to the protests ahead of the Jerusalem embassy's opening ceremony, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Faulkner that "the violence we've seen in response to what happened today — it's sad because this is simply recognizing an undeniable truth, that ... Jerusalem is the undivided and eternal capital of Israel."

"That has been true since 70 years ago today, when Israel, the modern state of Israel, was created, and that was true 3,000 years ago," Cruz said. "And the fact that President Trump demonstrated the courage to keep his promise — that is a message heard by our friends and heard by our enemies that America keeps her word and we stand with the nation of Israel. And that is incredibly important."

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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