President Donald Trump will make a speech at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday in which he is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
His decision, not yet even formally declared, is reportedly already having consequences and moving other nations to follow America’s lead in recognizing Israel’s declared capital.
#BREAKING: Israeli officials say that due to Trump statement "Several countries - the #Philippines & eastern european countries - have shown intrest in moving their embassy to #Jerusalem" - @gilicohen10 https://t.co/Zf02kojXGM— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 6, 2017
Recognizing Jerusalem would be in accordance with a 1995 law signed by President Bill Clinton that formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and mandated that the embassy be relocated there no later than 1999. However, the law allows the president to issue a waiver every six months to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv if the president deems it necessary to protect national security interests.
Each president since Clinton has signed the waiver every six months, including President Trump six months ago. Now, Trump is expected to end this long-standing policy and follow the law.
The response from the national security community and from the “experts” has been apoplectic. Trump is being accused of “diplomatic arson,” as proponents of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine believe the only workable policy is to make Jerusalem the capital of both states. Some fear that were the United States to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there, she would do so alone and inflame tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
However, the news that some nations are already considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem based solely on the White House’s declared intention to recognize Jerusalem shows that American leadership still counts.
In recognizing Jerusalem, President Trump puts America ahead of other nations and leads by example. This is the sort of true American leadership that was absent from 2008 to 2016.
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