Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trump Moving Forward With US Embassy Move in Israel Despite Warnings

Image: Trump Moving Forward With US Embassy Move in Israel Despite Warnings
by: Joe Crowe  

President-elect Donald Trump's team is moving ahead with plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel out of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although diplomats and officials are ramping up warnings against the move.
CNN reported speculation in Israel is the U.S. will announce the move May 24, a national holiday in that country. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama renewed a waiver that blocks the move for six months.
Allies have said moving the embassy could ramp up violence.
"It's very dangerous," one European diplomat told CNN. "Chances for the peace process are going very quickly — it's now or never. Violence is always a concern and, at this point, it's probably easy for Palestinians to demonstrate their frustration."
He added the move could also damage the U.S. standing in the peace process.
"If the U.S. changes its policy so dramatically, then it's very easy for others to dismiss their role and leadership in the peace process by saying, 'Well, now the Americans are so closely aligned with Israel, it's hard for us to take them as brokers.'"

The diplomat wants to wait on moving the embassy until a peace deal is in place.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wrote to Trump saying he opposed the move, and has also written letters to the leaders of Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Arab League.
Al-Jazeera reported, in the letter, Abbas told Trump the move would have a "disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region."
CNN reported, in a recent speech, Abbas said, "Any statement or position that disrupts or changes the status of Jerusalem is a red line which we will not accept."
Secretary of State John Kerry also opposed the move, saying, "You'd have an explosion — an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region."
Another European diplomat told CNN the location of the move is an issue.
"If it's moved into East Jerusalem, the Palestinians would certainly view it as a provocative move," the diplomat said.
Diplomats are hoping the Trump administration backs away from the relocation once the new president sees the realities of the situation when he takes office, CNN reported.

Last week, three prominent Republican senators introduced a bill that would force the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called Jerusalem "the eternal capital" of Israel and said "it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995, formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel."

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