“I’d love to see that happen. We’re looking at it very, very strongly,” Trump said of the embassy move to Jerusalem.
President Donald Trump said he would “love” to see the US embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.
Trump made the remarks while taking questions from reporters during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday.
Trump was asked by a reporter whether he was going to fulfill his promise to move the embassy, and if so, when?
“As far as the embassy moving to Jerusalem, I’d love to see that happen. We’re looking at it very, very strongly. We’re looking at it with great care — great care, believe me. And we’ll see what happens,” Trump said, somewhat ambiguously.
In 1995, the US passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, with overwhelming support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, mandating the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem by the fiscal year 1999, but allowing for a presidential waiver. All presidents since then have so far acted on their right to issue a waiver under the law.
However, while on the campaign trail Trump stated his intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
During a meeting with Netanyahu in New York 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.”
During a January appearance on The Brody File, a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) show, the interviewer mentioned that Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marc Rubio supported the move, to which Trump responded, “I am for that one hundred percent.”
Will He Keep His Promise?
Still, Trump’s most recent remarks indicate he is distancing himself from the move, which the Palestinians threaten would be the end to the diplomatic process and would generate an outbreak of violence.
In an interview with CBN late last month, Trump conceded that that decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem is “not easy,” that “there’s certainly a chance” he will do so, but there are “two sides to it.”
“I’ve always liked the concept of doing it, I’ll tell you that,” he said.
Refusing to give a specific timetable of when he will ultimately announce his decision, Trump said he will “have a decision in the not-too-distant future.”
Earlier this week, after an initial meeting between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Trump administration, Palestinian Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj told PA head Mahmoud Abbas that the US will not move the embassy to Jerusalem.
The last six-month waiver postponing the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem was signed by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, in early December, which gives Trump until about the end of May to decide whether to sign the six-month waiver or to allow the US embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News