Reviving Call for US Embassy Move to Jerusalem, Top Democratic Senator Criticizes Trump’s ‘Indecisiveness’ on Issue
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) renewed on Tuesday his call for the United States to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, criticizing along the way the mixed signals on the issue sent by President Donald Trump during his nine months in office.
“This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, yet with 2018 fast approaching, the U.S. still hasn’t moved the embassy or made clear its commitment to Israel’s capital,” Schumer said in a statement. “President Trump’s recent comments (in an interview last weekend) suggest his indecisiveness on the embassy’s relocation.”
Schumer added: “As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem.” The senator went on to say that moving the embassy “as soon as possible would appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the U.S. definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
Last June — on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem by the Israeli military during the 1967 Six-Day War — Schumer was among a bipartisan group of 17 senators who sponsored a resolution declaring, “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”
The bill was passed shortly after Trump, in keeping with his predecessors, deferred a 1995 Congressional resolution mandating the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump regularly declared his intent to facilitate such a move, telling a cheering crowd at an AIPAC convention, “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”
The president has since backed off from that position, explaining in an interview with TV host Mike Huckabee on Sunday that he wanted to give a new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative “a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem.”