The check really is in the mail this time, Presidents Clinton, Bush #43, and even Obama gave lip service to moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but President Trump is the first president to put the process in motion.
During a White House briefing I attended on Tuesday, Senior Government Officials confirmed that President Trump will announce tomorrow 12/6, the United States will finally Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. The President will also direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv To Jerusalem.
The president will emphasize his rationale for the decision was to recognize the reality on the ground as opposed to the ambiguity of the U.S. policy since 1948, Jerusalem has been the seat of the Israeli government for the sixty-nine years since the creation of the modern state of Israel as it houses the Israeli Supreme Court, Knesset, and Prime Minister.
This process can take a few years as first they have to find the proper site for the embassy, followed by 3-4 years of designing and building. The Jerusalem Embassy Act Of 1995 requires the U.S Embassy to move to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. Every six months thereafter the president is required to sign a waiver until a Jerusalem embassy opens its doors. Therefore, the President will sign and continue to sign the waiver. Failure to do so will result in massive cuts in State Dept. funding, including things like security for embassies.
In recent days President Trump spoke to key players in Congress and on the international stage, and while some of the US’s international partners may be objecting publicly, I would believe that some of those partners, Saudi Arabia for example, may be saying something different in private. The officials leading the briefing refused to confirm or deny the possibility of some of the objecting countries having a softer private stance, but they did say that no one, not one leader Trump spoke to, said that they would walk away from the talks because of his upcoming announcement. The officials also indicated that the ongoing peace talks have made some progress which they didn’t want to disclose publicly as that would serve to scuttle the progress.
They stressed and said the President would stress that the recognition of Jerusalem and the move of the embassy would not change the rest of the American policy regarding the Israel/Palestinian issue. Per that policy:
- The borders of Jerusalem will be determined by a negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians.
- There must be no change to the status quo of the holy sites, including the Temple Mount.
- The United States supports Israel and the Palestinians in their quest for a two-state solution, and final borders of each state should be set via negotiation between the parties.
They explained that President Trump’s actions recognize the facts on the ground while leaving room for the Palestinians to try and get what they want in Jerusalem via negotiations…