President Donald Trump will announce several new policy changes this week regarding Israel, making good on promises he made last year on the campaign trail.
What’s going to happen?
According to CNN, Trump will announce Tuesday that the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel has itself declared the holy city its capital, but due to political conflict with the Palestinians, most world countries don’t recognize that declaration.
Trump will also announce plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “at some point,” while keeping the U.S. diplomatic post in Tel Aviv for at least the next six months, CNN reported.
However, according to CNN, Trump may soften the blow for Palestinians by only recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Sources told CNN that Trump hasn’t yet made his final decision.
What did Trump promise?
Trump promised Americans on the campaign trail that if he were elected president, then he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” Trump declared at a major foreign policy panel in March 2016.
However, when the first opportunity to do so came earlier this year, Trump kicked the can down the road another six months.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the U.S. embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under threat of a financial penalty to the State Department. However, the law has a provision that allows a president to sign a waiver every six months to prevent the State Department from being dinged. That waiver has been signed every six months since.
Still, Trump maintains that it’s a not a question of “if” he will order the move of the embassy, but “when.” At least that’s what the White House said in June.
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