The US Embassy in Israel

On The Road to Jerusalem?

Quibbl checks in on President Trump’s campaign promise to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recaps the President’s major speech this week at the UN.

by Jonathan Silverman

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US-Israel relations were a focus at the UN this week

Every six months, the United States Embassy in Israel could move to Jerusalem. So far, every American President has, twice a year, signed a waiver of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. Signing this waiver keeps the embassy where it is in Tel Aviv. On June 1st, 2017 President Trump signed the waiver.

Later that August senior members of the Trump administration and high-level Israeli officials renewed talks over the possibility of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In September, PM Netanyahu met personally with President Trump the day before their annual addresses to the United Nations General Assembly.  In their joint public comments, PM Netanyahu said “…the alliance between America and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper… in ways people see and in ways that they don’t see.” The affirmation of a strong US-Israel relationship brings to mind President Trump’s campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would send political shockwaves throughout the region.

Will President Trump allow the waiver to expire in December 2017, and thus keep his campaign promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Quibbl on it here.

At the conclusion of the joint comments, someone from the audience asked President Trump if he plans to stay in the Iran Nuclear Deal. President Trump replied, “You will see very soon.”  This could be a reference to October 15th, when President Trump reports to Congress with his decision over whether or not Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal. The next day in President Trump’s speech to the UN, he reiterated support for Israel against its primary regional threat, describing the Iran Nuclear Deal as

…one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.”

In October, will the President tell Congress that Iran is noncompliant with the terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal? Quibbl here.

President Trump’s speech in the United Nations was his first direct speech to the community of nations, and may very well mark the beginning of a new way of doing business at the UN. President Trump reminded the UN of its purpose during the speech and highlighted his view of its current dysfunction:

In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them. For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”

Will the United States withhold funding from the UN? Quibbl here.

Reminding the UN of its purpose was a motif of the recent speech. The President used the UN’s raison d’être to warn the North Korean Regime and its leader, Kim Jong Un, whom President Trump again dubbed “Rocket Man”.  

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.”

Will the United States go to war against North Korea?  Quibbl here.

For more political quibbls, go here.

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