Kerry warns moving US embassy to Jerusalem will ‘explode’ region

US Secretary of State John Kerry warns of a regional “explosion” if the US moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, echoing warnings of a senior Palestinian official last Sunday. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed on Friday that if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his promise to move the US embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem, it would lead to a conflagration of chaos throughout Israel and the Middle East.

“You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” Kerry said in an interview with CBS.

“If all of a sudden, Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” continued Kerry.

Kerry’s remarks follow those of senior Palestinian Authority official Sultan Abu al-Einein, a Fatah Central Committee member, who suggested on Sunday in an interview with Egypt’s Alghad TV channel that Palestinians must prepare for a confrontation with Trump regarding his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the US in September, Trump “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the US, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” according to Trump’s campaign website.

Since his election in November, Trump has made several moves signalling his plan to follow through with his stated intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, including his nomination of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman is a strong proponent and advocate of moving the US embassy to what he refers to as the “undivided Israeli capital of Jerusalem.”

At the same time, several members of the US Senate have already introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act,which like the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act enacted in 1995, calls for the US embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem. An essential component of the legislation that was passed in 1995 granted the president the opportunity to sign a six-month waiver postponing a move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Every American president since the passing of the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act has continuously signed six-month waivers, claiming that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would hinder the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The current bill under consideration removes the waiver option and would obligate the president to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News