'A critical decision'

Former Israeli diplomat to Washington Yoram Ettinger speaks about the importance for both countries of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Benny Tucker,

US Embassy in Tel Aviv
US Embassy in Tel Aviv
Nir Elias, Reuters

Former Israeli diplomat to Washington Yoram Ettinger spoke to Arutz Sheva about the possibility that US President Donald Trump would in the coming days announce his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump repeatedly promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem during his election campaign, but in June decided to keep it in Tel Aviv, at least temporarily.

"This is an American interest, since not moving the Embassy can be understood - correctly - as the US government giving in to Arab pressure and Islamic terror threats," he said. "This would severely harm US deterrence."

"In my opinion, not moving the US Embassy to western Jerusalem sends a message that the US doesn't see western Jerusalem, and all the more so eastern Jerusalem, as part of the Jewish State."

Ettinger also said he believes Americans support the Embassy move.

"Israel only has one Jerusalem, and the US has 32 cities named after Jerusalem. This is the legacy of America's founding fathers, who saw Jerusalem as a symbol," he said. "Not only that, but the Embassy move is critical for Israel, since it will help the city flourish."

"If the US President does not move the Embassy, Congress can force him to do so by re-approving the law requiring the US Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem, without the section allowing its move to be delayed by six months. This would force the President to implement the law."

Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, requiring the president to move the embassy to Israel’s capital. Under the law, the president may delay implementation of the act for security reasons, renewing the waiver every six months.


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