Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC Trump waives law requiring US move its embassy to Jerusalem
Stacy Diaz | 04 June, 2017, 05:27

However, he did not retreat from his decision to support moving it to Jerusalem.

"Israel's stewardship of Jerusalem has been tremendous and has included guaranteeing religious freedom for Christians and Muslims as well as Jews - something that was nonexistent during the city's Arab occupation", DeSantis said in his statement. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital for a future, independent state.

The news has been applauded by the Arab World and sympathizers of Palestine as being a result of the pressure on the Trump Administration to backtrack on his electoral promise.

White House officials, who were refusing all comment as recently as yesterday, today confirmed that President Trump they are maximizing chances of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians by holding off on the embassy move.

"While there is likely to be some backlash from his conservative base, especially evangelical voters, the fact that Trump is now personally invested in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking may be something of an insurance policy against his having a change of heart further down the road". The Israeli Prime Minister's Office says the move will "distance peace" while Opposition leader Isaac Herzog describes Trump's decision as a "lesson" for Netanyahu.

Palestinian leaders are cheering the move.

"This is in line with the long-held United States policy and the worldwide consensus and it gives peace a chance", Hussam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to the U.S., said in a statement.

"We are ready to start the consultation process with the U.S. administration".

"He wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we can not advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine", Tillerson said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press".

In 2017 Israel celebrates 50 years of control over Jerusalem, achieved during the 1967 six day war. Many Palestinians (and other Middle Eastern Muslims) will consider "peace" only when Israel is wiped off the map, so moving the USA embassy nearly couldn't make things worse.

Netanyahu's office expressed disappointment, but not anger.

The pro-Western kingdom had warned that such a move was a "red line" that it would bolster extremists if crossed. The United Nations' original partition plan from 1947 on Palestine called for Jerusalem - with religious sites revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims - to be a city governed by an global body.

More than half of Jordan's citizens are of Palestinian descent.

"It just doesn't make sense that our embassy in a closely allied country isn't in the same city as the government with which we need to work so closely", he added.

U.S. officials asserted that the president made a decision to postpone relocating the embassy. Delivered at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday.

Trump avoided any public mention of a potential embassy move during his visit to Israel and the West Bank in May.

The embassy is now located in Tel Aviv.

According to the Associated Press, the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to Washington, Hussam Zomlot, said that holding off on the move "gives peace a chance", while a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that it underscores American dedication to promoting an end to the long-standing conflict with Israel.

White House officials said the president signed the waiver in an effort to encourage peace. That may well be a reasonable and rational approach, but again, it's exactly why the embassy hasn't been moved since the passage of the 1995 law.

US President Donald Trump has opted not to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least for another six months.

American presidents going back to Bill Clinton have signed the waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv. The announcement postpones the president's campaign promise to move diplomatic operations to Jerusalem.

Trump had been up against a Thursday deadline to either certify the USA had opened an embassy in Jerusalem or see the State Department lose half its funding for overseas facilities.