Central Florida reacts to President Trump's Jerusalem announcement

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017, 11:01 PM EST

President Trump’s announcement is sparking controversy across the world, nation and even Central Florida.

  • Locals exress support, disagreement of Jerusalem announcement
  • Gov. Rick Scott expressed support of move
  • Muslim leaders worry decision will spark holy wars

The American Muslim Leadership Council feeling blindsided by such news.

“Why now, why the move? I believe it is just another President Trump stunt at this point,” said Imam Helmi Agha, American Muslim Leadership Council.

“Jerusalem is an occupied territory, and therefore in order for us to move forward for any peace of process, the President pretty much put the death sentence on it.”

But not everyone is upset, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

“We support the President’s action to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. We have long supported that, the Jewish community is pretty unified on the point,” said Ben Friedman, Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. “We recognize every country has the right to decide for itself where its capitol is. And it’s important that we as the United States, and an ally of Israel, honor that decision.”

But the status of Jerusalem has always been a contentious point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I am sure you have heard in other parts of the world, they have called for three days of anger. Where people will march and go out to the streets displaying their anger, and expressing their objections to such a move,” said Imam Agha.  

“Anytime there is violence it is because the person who is violent makes the decision to be violent, and there are thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, who live in peace, who want to live in peace. And we shouldn’t assume the worst of any of them,” Friedman said.

Standing with the President is Governor Rick Scott who is currently in Israel on trade mission.  

“This is a great day, a day that President Trump is going to declare the capital of Israel to be Jerusalem, and complete the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. I stand with Israel, I stand with all the citizens of Israel. The state of Florida stands with all the citizens of Israel. This is an outstanding day for both Israel, and for the citizens of the United States of America,” said Scott.

Violence locally has yet to be seen, but protests could happen in the days to come. The worry among Muslim leaders is that this announcement will cause extremist organizations to wage holy wars.