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Locals react to Trump's announcement about Jerusalem

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Folks react to Trump's announcement about Jerusalem. Jim Gardner reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on December 6, 2017. (WPVI)

The reaction to the President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was swift.

On the Jewish side the reaction was profoundly joyous, something many believe should have been done a long time ago. While the reaction from Arab Americans was the opposite.

Action News caught up with several people Wednesday night attending a lecture at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center who support the embassy move.

Devorah Selber said, "It was for me like the Declaration of independence again."

Elkana Barreitan said, "I think we're all very excited, we're very happy, I heard a friend say that it felt almost like a declaration of independence that may be a bit exaggerating."

"It's something that was meant to be, so we just needed a President with some guts to move into Jerusalem and make it one," Ariela Yankelewitz said.

Those at the JCC were attending a lecture given by Israel's most decorated athlete and Olympic medalist, Arik Zeevi who lives in Tel Aviv.

"I'm pretty happy, I think it's about time. Jerusalem is our capital since I was born and I think it's about time the U.S. will acknowledge it, and all the world will acknowledge it," Zeevi said.

But Marwan Kreidie, the President of the Arab American Association and a professor at West Chester University, had a completely different view.

Kreidie said, "It destroyed all attempts of the U.S. being an honest broker in the Middle East. Since the 1940s, the United States decided Jerusalem should be shared by everybody."

Kreidie believes not only does the move set back any efforts for real peac,e but will incite violence.

"What we'll see is also increase the anti-American feeling in the Middle East. We're gonna see more American deaths because of this, you're gonna have people who will attack the U.S," Kreidie said.

And that's what some Jewish Americans worry about.

"Makes me very happy, but my children will be traveling to Israel next week and that makes me nervous," said Shirlee Peretz, supporter of the embassy move.

But others believe the peace process has been stalled for decades as the move may be a game changer.

Supporter of the embassy move Ben Barnett said, "I think this a big change in the peace process, so I think that there's a new idea here, a new way to look at it."

There were a wide view of opinions on moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, senior White House officials say the move will not be immediate, but will unfold over the years.
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