Biden will keep US Embassy in Jerusalem, aide says

“At this point, revisiting that question does not make a lot of sense either practically or for that matter politically,” a senior foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden said.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem if elected to office, according to a senior foreign policy adviser on the campaign.

“The short answer is yes,” answered Antony Blinken, when asked if Biden would move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv during a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA).

“At this point, revisiting that question does not make a lot of sense either practically or for that matter politically,” he said.

Regarding the possible annexation of Judea and Samaria, Blinken said “unilateral steps taken by either side that make the prospect of a negotiated two-state outcome less likely is something he [Biden] opposes.”

“In many ways, pulling the plug on a two-state solution is pulling the plug, potentially, on an Israel that is not only secure but is Jewish and democratic for the future. That’s not something any of us, who are ardent supporters of Israel, would want to see,” he added.

This is not the first time a representative for the campaign said the former vice-president would keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

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“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv,” an unnamed campaign spokesman told Axios in July 2019, but he would re-open the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem to “engage the Palestinians.”

On May 14, 2018, President Donald Trump moved the Embassy to Israel’s capital. The historic move came 23 years after the passage of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, legislation that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and gave a four-year deadline to relocate its embassy.

However, former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all exercised their executive powers to defer the move.

One of the first U.S. officials to suggest relocation came from then-Congressman Gerald Ford in 1972, who called on President Richard Nixon to make the move during a meeting with the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

Two years later, after being elected president, Ford was asked about it, to which he answered:

“Under the current circumstances and the importance of getting a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, that particular proposal ought to stand aside.”