Trump signs waiver, won’t move embassy to Jerusalem now

JTA

President Donald Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Israel Bardugo)

(JTA) — President Donald Trump signed an order to renew the six-month waiver that allows the U.S. embassy to remain in Tel Aviv rather than moving it to Jerusalem.

As a candidate, Trump promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which was required by an act of Congress in 1995 but which successive administrations have delayed with a series of six-month waivers, citing national security concerns. The latest waiver, signed by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, expired on Thursday.

Trump’s signing of the waiver was first reported Thursday morning by the New York Times, though there had been much speculation in political circles and in the media that he would do so.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement that Trump is still committed to an embassy move in the future. “The question is not if that move happens, but only when,” Spicer said in the statement, according to the political news website Politico.


ADVERTISEMENT
Anat Cohen at The Sheldon


Trump did not discuss the waiver publicly during his visit to Jerusalem late last month. He was, however, the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. He has stated that he would like to broker the “ultimate deal,” a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians with the approval of the rest of the Arab world. He reportedly was convinced on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and to the Palestinian Authority that moving the embassy at this time would imperil such a deal.

The United States, like most countries throughout the world, does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel calls all of Jerusalem its “undivided capital,” while the Palestinians consider eastern Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)