Trump To Declare Jerusalem Capitol of Israel Today. Move U.S. Embassy As Well!
It was reported this past weekend that the President would declare Jerusalem the Capitol of Israel Wednesday. Those reports have been confirmed. Even more controversial though was the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which many analysts thought would not happen. With his announcement, Trump is expected to declare the initiation of of the process to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making the U.S. the first and only country with its embassy in the ancient city.
Here is the report from ABC news:
A U.S. official and a source close to the White House told ABC News that official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital is expected to be intentionally broad and not meant to preclude the possibility that the Palestinians could claim part of the historic city as a capital of a future Palestinian state. The president does not want to “prejudice” the outcome of any future peace negotiations for a two-state solution, one source familiar with the plan told ABC News.
The president will also sign a six-month waiver of a 1995 law mandating an embassy move, thereby keeping the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv for the time being as he initiates the process of relocating the embassy – a process that is expected to take years and will include a survey of construction sites and a search for contractors. Until the new embassy in Jerusalem opens, current law requires the president to sign the waiver that maintains the embassy in Tel Aviv.
The approach described by the officials appears aimed at allowing the president to fulfill a key campaign promise, while also attempting to soften fallout of his decision to move the embassy by delaying it for an undefined period of time.
“While we understand how some parties might react, we are still working on our plan which is not yet ready,” a senior administration official said. “We have time to get it right and see how people feel after this news is processed over the next period of time.”
A senior official downplayed concerns about threats of violence to US citizens overseas as a result of the announcement, saying that the proper precautions have been taken to provide for anticipated additional security needs.
“We’re obviously concerned about the protection of US citizens, US officials anywhere in the world,” an official said, but added that US security agencies have been involved in the decision and are prepared to provide extra security that may be necessary.
One official described the president’s move in recognizing Jerusalem as the official capital as a “recognition of reality,” with a second official making the case that the location of the embassy is a neutral factor in the United States ultimate ability to be an effective arbiter of a peace deal.
“For a long time, the United States position held that ambiguity or lack of acknowledgement would somehow advance the prospect of peace,” the senior official said. “It seems clear now that physical location of American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It’s not an impediment to peace fundamentally, and it’s not a facilitator of peace.”
Arab leaders have signaled that the move will create strain on any attempted peace process, and Turkeys government has signaled that they will end all diplomatic ties with Israel if this is done. As with most things Donald Trump, he is forging his own path forward, and in so doing solidifying the U.S. and Israel ties even further than they have ever been before.
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