President Trump is calling his delay to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital Jerusalem not a denial of his pledge but it is a disappointment.
Yesterday (June 1) was the deadline for Trump either to allow the US Embassy to be moved or to sign a temporary waiver delaying the move for another six months.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (JEA) is a public law passed on October 23, 1995.
For 22 years, signing the waiver has been the pattern of three of Trump’s predecessors (Clinton, Bush, Obama). The presidents have all claimed that the Embassy Act of Congress infringed upon their executive authority.
According to the White House, Trump signed the waiver only to “postpone” the embassy move. A senior official said Trump “remains committed to relocating the facility while in office consistent with his campaign pledge.”
However, the president forfeits the extraordinary opportunity to move the embassy while Israel is still celebrating its Jerusalem Jubilee–50 years of reunification after the miraculous Six Day War of June 1967.
More than 60 Christian leaders and organizations in the USA recently signed a letter to President Trump saying,
“We believe the time has come, at long last, to uphold American law by moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital city of Jerusalem.”
Israel is disappointed, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who issued the following statement:
“Israel’s consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital. Maintaining embassies outside the capital drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem. Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future.”
Popular Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick wrote that “talk is cheap.” She said, “I am appalled by President Trump’s decision to sign the waiver and not move the US embassy to Jerusalem. . . .it is a retreat — a major retreat. It is also a betrayal of Trump’s promise to his voters.”
Another Israeli wrote this commentary:
TO SIGN OR NOT TO SIGN: PUBLIC SAFETY A CONSIDERATION
I want the US (and every other) embassy to move to Jerusalem, but I would not put my own emotional satisfaction ahead of the lives of people in the city. Trump signed the waiver today and it is my firm belief that he has done so because Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat do not yet think it is safe to make the move. The president says the move is only delayed, not cancelled.
But some of my Jewish friends are already tearing the president to pieces. Some are highly judgmental and love to condemn any and all who do not agree with them 100%. But if, in six or twelve months, the move takes place, those who today call him down to the lowest will be hailing him as a hero.
Meanwhile, Israel’s 1980 Jerusalem Law refers to Jerusalem as the country’s undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, as well as the Supreme Court.
Some analysts believe that President Trump is saving the embassy move as a “trump card” in negotiations. However, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, also issued the following statement today saying the holy city shouldn’t be a bargaining chip:
“U.S. administrations have delayed enforcing the law … and to what effect? America’s recognition of the capital city of our foremost and only democratic ally in the Middle East should not be a bargaining chip. I am disappointed, but I take the President at his word that this is only a delay in delivering on his promise.”
Ultimately, the God of Israel has the last Word on all matters concerning Jerusalem; his “embassy” is there so we continue to pray and WATCH THIS SPACE. In their June 2 Friday Prayer Points, the Intercessors for Israel included these petitions to the Almighty:
- Help us not to put our trust in the USA or in Donald Trump but to put our trust fully in You.
- You have made it clear in Your word that Jerusalem is at the very center of Your purposes. Keep us believing in Your word not in the word of Donald Trump.
- Thank You that Your plans for Jerusalem are not dependent up on the location of the American Embassy.
“Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt.” Zechariah 1: 16