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Experts unsure about Pres. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, file photo, the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is seen in Jerusalem's Old City. A rectangular hilltop compound in Jerusalem is ground zero of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, it is Islam's third holiest spot and is home to an iconic golden-domed shrine. But to Jews it is the Temple Mount, their holiest place. This sensitive arrangement, and attempts to change it, lie at the heart of the unrest that rocked Jerusalem this week. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET)-- Religious leaders here in Lynchburg are hopeful that President Trump's announcement can help bring peace to the Middle East.

"You can't put into words, walking into a place of so much history," Agudath Sholom Congregation Rabbi John Nimon said.

He said Jerusalem holds a special place in the Jewish faith, going back to biblical times.

"There are many prayers in our liturgy that we recite multiple times a day, that ask God's blessing on the city of Jerusalem," Rabbi Nimon.

It could cause more unrest between the two hostile neighbors. Senator Tim Kaine says America has always wanted to do this but it depended on peace between the two countries.

He says the State Department and Department of Defense are against it.

"Their argument was it would increase the risk of harm to American personnel abroad, especially American personnel at embassies in the Middle East and North Africa," (D) Sen. Kaine said during a conference call Thursday.

American allies in the area are not happy with the move, according to Visiting Randolph College professor Aaron Shreve.

"It may jeopardize security cooperation in the region, particularly in terms of counter-terrorism," Shreve said.

Rabbi Nimon wants to see a day where Israel and Palestine can agree about ways to both view Jerusalem as their own capitol.

"Jerusalem means city of peace. It hasn't known peace so I'm hoping one day it will," he said.

"History says this is very difficult and the US unilaterally giving away this one bargaining chip spells trouble for the success of at least US involvement in peace," Shreve said.

Shreve says it's such a challenge because the US always served as an independent party never favoring one country over the other.

The White House says they are looking to have a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, but that will take years.

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