PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - At the Kleinlife Senior Center in Philadelphia’s Rhawnhurst section, they gathered around the television to watch history being made.
"Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious that Jerusalem is Israel's capital," President Donald Trump said.
Watching intently, was center director Yaffa Yermish.The announcement brought a smile to her face
“Yeah,” she told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon. “I was excited.”
Nearly 20 years ago, Yaffa’s son Yisrael—they called him Yissie-- was born in a hospital in Jerusalem. When she received his American birth certificate, she noticed it said only “Jerusalem.”
“And I said, 'why doesn't it say Israel?' And they said, 'Oh, that's disputed land.' I was so angry! I yelled at the woman at the consulate. I said, ‘how could you not put it on there?’”
By April of 1998, the US government was already talking about officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Israeli legislature meets there. So does the county's supreme court. Israel's president and prime minister have their official residences in Jerusalem.
But Palestinians have long staked their own claim to the city-- especially the eastern sector.
They are outraged that president Trump has given official sanction to the Israeli point of view. Said one spokesman, “Any position of that kind is absolutely unacceptable."
But the mood at the Klein Life center was one of jubilation on Wednesday.
One woman called the two decade delay an act of 'divine scheduling.'
"I believe that God has everything in control,” said Joni Abrams, a messianic Jew. “And he had Trump do this at this precise timing that he scheduled. So, whatever happens, happens, but God is in control of everything."
As for Yaffa Yermish?
Moments after the president's announcement, she received a text message from her husband: it read, simply, “Yissie is officially born in Israel.”
She says she is thrilled with Mr. Trump's announcement, but-- given the threat of violent backlash, “It's with a heavy, heavy heart, because we're really praying for peace for everyone."