Sunday, January 22, 2017


Will Trump keep his pledge to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

I’m not holding my breath because the State Department will oppose moving the embassy. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 which declared that (1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. Even though, like Trump, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem, they acquiesced to the State Department's opposition.

If Trump does order the embassy relocated to Jerusalem, that won’t happen overnight. First the State Department will have to find a piece of property for the new embassy. Then, with the volatile situation in that part of the world, they will have to build a bomb-proof, fortress-like building that will take more than a year or two to construct at a cost of millions of dollars.

So, even if Trump follows through with his pledge, I probably won’t live long enough to see it happen.


Israel Today
January 19, 2017

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is urging all Israelis to voice their unequivocal support of US President-elect Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration on Friday.

In a video posted to the Internet this week, Barkat said that Israelis must join with Trump to “make the US-Israeli relationship great again.”

He continued:

“This week Donald Trump will enter the White House as president. Let’s together welcome him as a friend and thank him for his intention to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”

In an interview with the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom earlier this week, Trump said he had not forgotten his pledge to return the US Embassy to Israel’s capital.

“Of course I remember what I said about Jerusalem,” he told the newspaper. “You know that I am not a person who breaks promises.”

Sunday’s “peace” conference in Paris warned Trump against moving the embassy, as did Barack Obama in his final press conference as president. The Palestinian Arabs have vowed an “explosion” should Trump fulfill that particular promise, which would show firm support for Israel’s position that Jerusalem is its eternal, undivided capital.

Donald Trump told the Israeli daily Israel Hayom on Wednesday that he intends to follow through with his campaign promise to relocate the embassy

By Adam Rasgon

The Jerusalem Post
January 19, 2017

Hundreds of Palestinians participated in demonstrations in three Palestinian cities on Thursday to call on President-elect Donald Trump not to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Fatah, the dominant political party in the West Bank, other PLO factions, and local political committees organized the demonstrations, which took place in Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron.

At the demonstration in Nablus’s Martyrs’ Square, hundreds of Palestinians turned out, waving Palestinian flags and holding signs that read “No to relocating the US Embassy” and “Relocating the US Embassy is the new Balfour Declaration for the Palestinian people” and “the world is making progress while Trump administration is going backwards.”

The demonstrators also yelled chants against the relocation of the embassy.

“We will not give up on our capital,” they called out as the sun beat over their heads. “Oh Trump, listen, listen, you have to rescind your decision.”

Mahmoud al-Aloul, a Fatah Central Committee member, told the demonstrators that moving the embassy would have dire consequences for the peace process.

“Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem for the [Palestinians] would mean the abrogation of signed treaties with Israel,” Aloul said, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “The Palestinians cannot accept anything except for East Jerusalem as their capital.”

Donald Trump told the Israeli daily Israel Ha-Yom on Wednesday that he intends to follow through with his campaign promise to relocate the embassy.

“Of course I remember what I said about Jerusalem…You know that I am not a person who breaks promises,” Trump told the Israeli daily in response to a question about the relocation of the embassy.

Akram Rajoub, the PA Nablus Governor, who also delivered a speech at the Nablus demonstration, said relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would undo “hope.”

“Moving the embassy would mean that there is no hope for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and no national rights for the Palestinian people,” Rajoub said emphatically, adding that, “There is nothing more dangerous than an entire people losing hope for the future.”

Palestinian officials have warned over the past two weeks that moving the embassy would have “devastating” and “catastrophic” consequences not only for the Palestinian territories, but also the region and the world.

Salah al-Yasidi, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, who attended the Nablus demonstration, told Palestine TV on the sidelines of the demonstration that he completely rejects the possible relocation of the embassy.

“The policies of this new Trump administration that affect Palestinian identity, Jerusalem’s identity including its Palestinian, human, and international nature are completely rejected and all options will be on the table to confront them,” Yasidi said.

Israel, for its part, has encouraged the US president to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he thought such a move would be “great” during a trip to Azerbaijan in December.

Meanwhile, demonstrations in Ramallah and Hebron also attracted hundreds of Palestinians, who similarly urged the US president-elect to rethink what he said during his campaign.

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