Netanyahu says US Embassy decision delays peace

02 Juin, 2017, 12:45 | Author: Claudine Rigal

A senior Israeli official who heard from one of Trump's advisors said that before Trump's January 20 inauguration, there was a fierce argument over whether a pledge to move the embassy should be included in his inaugural address.

"Israel considers any Palestinian state within that territory, which she considers to be her land by virtue of divine right, considers that to be heretical", Glenn said during an interview with Press TV on Tuesday. As president, Trump has proceeded cautiously, hoping to preserve his ability to serve as an effective mediator for one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

Under the 1995 act, the US State Department would see a 50-percent cut in all its future budgets for "acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad" until the new embassy opens.

The Palestinians consider east Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967 as the capital of their independent state, while Israel insists on considering the whole city as the eternal capital of the state of Israel.

Of the embassy, Spicer said, "The question is not if that move happens, but only when".

President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh (nah-BEEL' ah-boo reh-DAY'-nuh), says the decision is an "important positive step" that illustrates the USA seriousness about promoting peace. "Although disappointed at the failure to transfer the embassy at this time, Israel appreciates the president's friendly words and obligation to transfer the embassy at a later time". Government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Jordan welcomed Trump's decision and believed it sent an important message.

In his statement Thursday, Spicer said Trump made the decision partly to "maximize the chances" of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump's move to renew the waiver for six months keeps the USA embassy in Tel Aviv for now.

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The waiver has been signed by every USA president since 1995, and it is valid for six months at a time.

Furthermore, Politico notes that the Trump administration may very well be betting that breaking a relatively minor campaign promise like the embassy move could quickly be overshadowed by their upcoming withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.

Goldenberg indicated that delaying the move was not only a matter of sacrificing a pawn to keep the larger chess game going, but that Trump himself isn't particularly committed to any particular embassy location.

On the campaign trail, Trump's pro-Israel rhetoric raised expectations that he would act quickly to move the embassy.

"He will probably renew the waiver for another six months, but will come out with a statement saying he won't necessarily do it again depending on the way in which the parties behave", Alan Baker, a former Israeli ambassador turned analyst, told AFP.

That means that if Trump does not sign the waiver on Thursday, the USA government will be forced, by law, to begin the process of relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"The Jerusalem embassy issue is more for Pence's evangelical base than the Trump base", said Goldenberg.


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