Trump to Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital, But Embassy Move Not Immediate

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: Dec 05, 2017 9:28 PM
Trump to Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital, But Embassy Move Not Immediate

Jumping off what Katie wrote earlier today, Jerusalem would be recognized as Israel’s capital officially tomorrow, though the embassy move will be delayed. Right now, the U.S. Embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv.  The Palestinians are already calling the move a threat to peace in the region, with various groups planning three days of rage to protest the move (via NBC News):

President Donald Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, while also signing a waiver that delays moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, two U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News.

Though Trump will not move the embassy any time soon — one White House official told reporters it could take years — the president still intends to fulfill a promise made early in his administration.

Senior administration officials called Trump's expected recognition of Jerusalem an affirmation of "reality" — both historical and current, pointing out that the holy city is home to Israel's parliament, supreme court and other government sites.

America's "policy of ambiguity" in regard to Jerusalem hasn't worked, one of the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday night. "It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal...it's not an impediment to peace and it's not a facilitator to peace."

The president is prepared to support a two-state solution if agreed to by both parties and remains "optimistic" about the prospects of that deal, the officials said.

Is this a controversial move? Well, it depends. For Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from deep blue Connecticut, Jerusalem being Israel’s capitals has been something recognized on the Hill for a long, long time. Of course, he voiced that the move could increase tension in the region (via Free Beacon):

Appearing on CNN’s "Situation Room," Blumenthal said Congress has long recognized the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. In June, the Senate reaffirmed a 1995 law saying that, and Blumenthal voted for it.

"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and I've long supported acknowledging that simple fact, and so has Congress, repeatedly—in fact, as recently as earlier this year," Blumenthal said. "But there have to be meaningful negotiations to advance the progress of peace, and that includes secure borders for Israel and a two-state solution."