Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited The Bible as justification for U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite intense opposition from Palestinian and other Arab Christians to the controversial American decision.
Netanyahu said the Christian holy book clearly explains that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
"You can read it in a very fine book – it’s called the Bible," the Israeli Prime minister said, according to BBC.
He also cited oral and written traditions of diaspora Jews as proof that his people have always seen the city as their capital.
"You can read it after the Bible. You can hear it in the history of Jewish communities throughout our diaspora," he said.
While Netanyahu may interpret Christianity's sacred text as guaranteeing Israel's right to Palestine and Jerusalem, Arab Christians seem to disagree.
Following Trump's official recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a major break with longstanding U.S. foreign policy, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt issued an official statement against the decision.
The church said that Pope Tawadros II would not meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during an upcoming visit to Egypt.
Trump's decision "did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people," the church said, according to Al Jazeera.
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun, who is a Maronite Christian, called Trump's decision "dangerous," saying it set the peace process back by decades, according to Reuters.
Palestinian Christians and Muslims stand in solidarity against the decision as well. Many Christian clergy spoke out, condemning the move during Sunday services in Gaza.
In the early 1900s, Zionist Jews began moving to Palestine in mass, which was under British control at the time. This movement increased dramatically following World War II.
Today, Palestine, including the part internationally recognized as Israel, has a population of about 6 million Arabs (Christians and Muslims) and about 6 million Jews, according to 2012 statistics reported by Haaretz.
Yet Zionists still aim to classify and control Israel as an officially Jewish state. Technically, Israel's government classifies itself as secular.