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Trump expected to delay U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem - sources


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Trump expected to delay U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem - sources

By Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed

REUTERS

 

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is expected this week to delay relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, U.S. officials and a diplomatic source said on Wednesday, despite his campaign pledge to go ahead with the controversial move.

 

With a deadline for a decision looming, Trump is likely to continue his predecessors' policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem, an action that would have complicated his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the sources said.

 

Trump has yet to make his decision official but is required by law to act by Friday, according to one U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

 

Barring a last-minute surprise, Trump is expected to renew the waiver. His administration intends to make clear, however, that Trump remains committed to the promise he made during the 2016 presidential campaign, though it will not set a specific timetable for doing so, officials said.

 

Asked whether Trump would sign the waiver, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday:

"Once we have a decision, we'll put it out," adding there would be "something very soon on that."

 

While there have been divisions among Trump's aides on the issue, the view that appears to have prevailed is that the United States should keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for now to avoid angering the Palestinians, Arab governments and Western allies while the president seeks to nurture peace efforts.

 

Trump avoided any public mention of a potential embassy move during his visit to Israel and the West Bank in May. Despite that, most experts are sceptical of Trump’s chances for achieving a peace deal that eluded other U.S. presidents.

 

The status of Jerusalem is one of the major stumbling blocks. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, a move not recognised internationally. Israel considers all of the city its indivisible capital.

 

PRO-ISRAEL RHETORIC

 

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Jerusalem is home to holy sites of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions.

 

Shifting the U.S. Embassy would be widely seen as Washington's recognition of the Israeli position on Jerusalem's status, which successive U.S. administrations have said must be decided in negotiations between the two sides.

 

Former President Barack Obama renewed the waiver in December, setting off a six-month clock for Trump. CNN was first to report that Trump was expected to sign the waiver.

 

On the campaign trail, Trump's pro-Israel rhetoric raised expectations that he would act quickly to move the embassy. But after he took office in January, the issue lost momentum as he met Arab leaders who warned it would be hard to rejuvenate long-stalled peace efforts unless he acted as a fair mediator.

 

Some of Trump's top aides have pushed for him to keep his campaign promise, not only because it would be welcomed by most Israelis but to satisfy the pro-Israel, right-wing base that helped him win the presidency. The State Department, however recommended against an embassy move, one U.S. official said.

 

"The president is still committed to moving the embassy," one U.S. official said. "It's not a question of whether but when it will be done."

 

The Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress in 1995 mandating relocation of embassy to Jerusalem allows the president to waive the requirement in accordance with U.S. national security interests.

 

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Sandra Maler)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-06-01
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Sounds like a bit of a covfefe to me.

 

Perhaps as well though. The unnecessary move would have done more harm than good ... maybe even leading to a religious war with 1000s killed, and destroyed any hope of a two state solution, which is the only thing that will save Israel as a predominantly Jewish state...in the short term at least.

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On 6/1/2017 at 2:28 PM, thaibeachlovers said:

I never knew there was a law to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Seems like all the presidents since 95 have done the right thing.

Hopefully Trump keeps doing the right thing. Moving the embassy would be catastrophic on so many levels.

 

I never knew there was a law to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

 

How very Trumpian.

Being informed is yugely over-rated on these topics.

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On 6/4/2017 at 11:21 PM, thaibeachlovers said:

Do you have anything on topic to say or are you just making a personal attack against me?

 

Do you have any more "informed" comments "on-topic"?

 

:coffee1:

 

 

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Mr Trump, how about you delay the move to Jerusalem by ten years ?

Look, this move is being done purely to antagonise and offend the Muslims.  Why do this ? The Islamic fundamentalists are butchering our people in our Europe. Doing this move will cause a load of Muslims to hate us, and make Muslims become extremists. It's mad to insult people because you and some of your supporters feel like it, and it makes them want to bomb us.

Give it time, the same Muslim Islamic fundamentalists will be on American soil. And when they butcher American people in the USA itself, well, the move to Jerusalem will certainly be regarded as absurd and dangerous.

And, Mr Trump, that picture above, why are you doing such a 'brotherly' handshake with Israel's boss ?  You didn't do the same handshake with Theresa May. And you didn't do the same handshake with Europe's leaders. Or with Japan's leader. Or China's leader.  Or the Saudi guys when you visited them.

Why be so friendly with Netanyahu ?  Surely, Europe means more to America than Israel ?

 

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No need to choose.

The USA should be good friends with Israel and traditional western European allies as well. 

As far as moving the embassy trump seems to be making that conditional on some significant progress in a peace deal.

There won't be. 

It's like telling the Palestinians, make a deal and we'll reward you by screwing you and moving the embassy.

 

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16 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

No need to choose.

The USA should be good friends with Israel and traditional western European allies as well. 

As far as moving the embassy trump seems to be making that conditional on some significant progress in a peace deal.

There won't be. 

It's like telling the Palestinians, make a deal and we'll reward you by screwing you and moving the embassy.

 

"The USA should be good friends with Israel and traditional western European allies as well. "
Well, I reckon Washington should be better friends with Europe than it is with Israel. Americans are basically Europeans who are in America. I know a number of Americans in Thailand, and most Americans seem to forget this.



"It's like telling the Palestinians, make a deal and we'll reward you by screwing you and moving the embassy."
Well, I can see your point. Some people feel that, this is what Washington has been trying to say for decades.


I still feel uncomfortable with that picture of the brotherly handshake with Netanyahu. If it was done with everybody else, fine. But why only with Israel's boss ?

 

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5 minutes ago, tonbridgebrit said:

"The USA should be good friends with Israel and traditional western European allies as well. "
Well, I reckon Washington should be better friends with Europe than it is with Israel. Americans are basically Europeans who are in America. I know a number of Americans in Thailand, and most Americans seem to forget this.



"It's like telling the Palestinians, make a deal and we'll reward you by screwing you and moving the embassy."
Well, I can see your point. Some people feel that, this is what Washington has been trying to say for decades.


I still feel uncomfortable with that picture of the brotherly handshake with Netanyahu. If it was done with everybody else, fine. But why only with Israel's boss ?

 

Americans are basically Europeans? 

No, dude, that is not true. 

I'm hearing your hostility towards Israel.

I obviously don't share that but if that's your thing. 

To be clear, I'm no fan of trump or Bibi, but I do strongly support the strong friendship between the two nations that they lead.

They have some similarities as leaders, except that Bibi is much more competent than trump.

trump's pissing off long time allied European leaders is indeed atrocious. Most Americans don't support that but sadly he is the president. God help us. 

Edited by Jingthing
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6 hours ago, tonbridgebrit said:

Mr Trump, how about you delay the move to Jerusalem by ten years ?

Look, this move is being done purely to antagonise and offend the Muslims.  Why do this ? The Islamic fundamentalists are butchering our people in our Europe. Doing this move will cause a load of Muslims to hate us, and make Muslims become extremists. It's mad to insult people because you and some of your supporters feel like it, and it makes them want to bomb us.

Give it time, the same Muslim Islamic fundamentalists will be on American soil. And when they butcher American people in the USA itself, well, the move to Jerusalem will certainly be regarded as absurd and dangerous.

And, Mr Trump, that picture above, why are you doing such a 'brotherly' handshake with Israel's boss ?  You didn't do the same handshake with Theresa May. And you didn't do the same handshake with Europe's leaders. Or with Japan's leader. Or China's leader.  Or the Saudi guys when you visited them.

Why be so friendly with Netanyahu ?  Surely, Europe means more to America than Israel ?

 

 

Mr tonbridgebrit, how about you read and comprehend the OP before posting?

 

The legal mechanics relating to the location of the US Embassy in Israel are mentioned in the OP. Trump cannot "delay the move by 10 years" on a whim. It's either legislation or an executive order (at least, I think it's possible with the latter, but others probably know more). Neither option is Trump's administration's forte.

 

Aside from that, there is no move, as can be inferred from the OP, and things are expected to stay as they are and as they were. In that sense, the rant above is pointless.

 

The move (or rather, the non-move) was not aimed "purely to antagonism and offend the Muslims". It started of as one of Trump's many campaign promises, and if it had any goal, it was more to do with pandering to Jewish and Christian voters. As with many of Trump's campaign promises, nothing came out of it, discounting the temporary diplomatic chaos.

 

Obviously, the idiocy of the idea and probable consequences were conveyed clearly enough to Trump, both by Arab leaders and members of his own staff. According to some reports, even Netanyahu wasn't all that thrilled despite publicly expressing otherwise.

 

The hysterical scaremongering is dully noted.

 

Trump's handshakes are often bizarre, most times looks like he's not too familiar with the concept. This one wasn't an A grade compared to the really weird ones. Why would anyone make a whole lot of such nonsense is beyond me.

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10 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

It's worth keeping in mind that trump and Bibi have known each other and presumably been friendly for many years before either one of them were their nation's premier leader. That's rather unusual.

 

I don't recall anything concrete about them being friends or even closely acquainted. Netanyahu was close to Kushner's dad, though. And he knows Pence, for sure.

 

 

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I don't recall anything concrete about them being friends or even closely acquainted. Netanyahu was close to Kushner's dad, though. And he knows Pence, for sure.
 
 

Perhaps I'm mistaken. There is at least the family connection with the Kushners.
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3 hours ago, Morch said:

 

 

 

The legal mechanics relating to the location of the US Embassy in Israel are mentioned in the OP. Trump cannot "delay the move by 10 years" on a whim. It's either legislation or an executive order

 

The move (or rather, the non-move) was not aimed "purely to antagonism and offend the Muslims". It started of as one of Trump's many campaign promises, and if it had any goal, it was more to do with pandering to Jewish and Christian voters.

It's legislation and has been given 6 monthly suspensions since it was passed.

 

Don't include Christians in that. Why would Christians want to move the embassy?

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11 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

It's legislation and has been given 6 monthly suspensions since it was passed.

 

Don't include Christians in that. Why would Christians want to move the embassy?

 

It's legislation and has been given 6 monthly suspensions since it was passed.

 

You don't say?! Seriously?! :coffee1:

The point made was with regard to amending the existing legislation. Not that I think it's material, all things considered - just no idea if such a move would have entail further legislation or can be achieved by an executive order.

 

Don't include Christians in that. Why would Christians want to move the embassy?

 

Not all Christians, obviously. More appropriately right wing evangelists. As to why, a combo of political views and religious beliefs.

 

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54 minutes ago, Morch said:

 

It's legislation and has been given 6 monthly suspensions since it was passed.

 

You don't say?! Seriously?! :coffee1:

The point made was with regard to amending the existing legislation. Not that I think it's material, all things considered - just no idea if such a move would have entail further legislation or can be achieved by an executive order.

 

Don't include Christians in that. Why would Christians want to move the embassy?

 

Not all Christians, obviously. More appropriately right wing evangelists. As to why, a combo of political views and religious beliefs.

 

Yes, it's common knowledge that there are MANY more right wing Christian pro-Zionists in the USA than Jewish ones. Not hard to do in a majority Christian nation with 2 percent Jews. 

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