US President Barack Obama once again displayed his anti-Israel sentiment on Wednesday after he renewed a presidential waiver that would delay the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months, Haaretz reported.
“Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995”, read the memorandum directed to US Secretary of State John Kerry. “I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.”
Voted on by a supermajority, Congress passed The Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act in 1995. The bill stated that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” But a woven caveat allows for a president to postpone the move, for six-monthly periods, in the interests of national security.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama have all issued such waivers at each possible interval ever since.
Obama’s most recent decision to delay the move brings with it yet another sigh of exasperation for many of his pro-Israel supporters who had no doubt been inspired by the president’s 2008 campaign during which Obama referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
The next time the waiver comes up for review, in December of this year, Obama will be weeks away from stepping down as President. The decision whether to employ the Act, however, will still be in his hands at that time.
Continuing the rhetoric employed by American politicians looking to secure the Jewish vote, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has gone on record expressing his intentions to follow through with the Jerusalem Embassy Act. During his address to AIPAC attendees in March, Trump assured his audience that he would meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “immediately” and “move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem” should he win the election.
Hillary Clinton, however, has displayed many mixed messages regarding her plans for the US Embassy over the last 20 years. In 1999, she said she “considers Jerusalem to be the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel” and she would advocated to “move the US embassy to Jerusalem” should she be elected to the senate, CNN reported at the time.
In 2008, Clinton’s campaign website – under the heading “Standing with Israel against terrorism” – stated, “Hillary Clinton believes that Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned.”
The page does not exist in her 2016 campaign site, contradicting her previous vocalized sentiments.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 24 percent of Americans support moving the embassy to Jerusalem while 20 percent strongly disagree.