There are indications that the Donald Trump administration may be under pressure to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:-



An official United States delegation led by Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is briefly visiting Israel on Saturday and Sunday [March 4-5, 2017] to study the possibility of relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"The delegation is in Jerusalem to learn first hand what it will mean to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” said Ruth Lieberman, a friend of DeSantis and a political advisor in Israel.

DeSantis chairs the subcommittee for National Security for the US House Oversight Committee. . .

US President Donald Trump had promised to relocate the embassy during his campaign for the White House. But since his January 20th inauguration, his lukewarm statements about the matter led many to speculate that he would not make good on his pledge.

The delegation’s visit is the first sign that there might be some movement on the issue.

Congressman tours possible embassy sites in Jerusalem, confident Trump will move embassy

Rep. Ron DeSantis told reporters Sunday he is confident President Donald Trump will move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The latest six-month Presidential waiver on a congressional order to switch the embassy location, signed by President Barack Obama at the end of last year, expires in May.

DeSantis told reporters he did not expect Trump to follow the lead of all his predecessors and sign a further six-month extension.

"He's in a position where he's either going to follow his campaign promise or he's actually going to have to sign this wavier, and I just think knowing the President, he has been a man of his word," the Florida Republican said. "I don't think that he's going to, on the same month where people here in Jerusalem are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day, sign the waiver. I would bet that he would not do that and he would announce that the embassy would be moving." . . .

Every president since 1995, when Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy act, has used the presidential waiver to decline moving the embassy as called for by the law, citing national security interests. Ordered by Congress, the Presidents reviewed the legislation every six months.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would mean that the US effectively recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, overturning decades of US foreign policy, and, many argue, would effectively signal the end of efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The authority of a congressional committee to be engaged in this activity is open to question. It bears the marks of a strongarm tactic. This authority appears to be vested in the State Department:

Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) directs the worldwide overseas building program for the Department of State and the U.S. Government community serving abroad under the authority of the chiefs of mission. In concert with other State Department bureaus, foreign affairs agencies, and Congress, OBO sets worldwide priorities for the design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use, and sale of real properties and the use of sales proceeds.


Congress passed a law in 1995 to force the Executive Branch's hand on this delicate issue:

Jerusalem Embassy Act

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999, and attempted to withhold 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the State Department specifically for "Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad" as allocated in fiscal year 1999 until the United States Embassy in Jerusalem had officially opened. . .

Since passage, the law has never been implemented, because of opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who view it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch's constitutional authority over foreign policy; they have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

Why is Congressional sentiment so much at odds with the official foreign policy of successive U.S. presidents? Certainly Jewish lobbying and campaign contributions are one reason. The U.S. presidents who have baulked at implementing the Jerusalem Embassy law have themselves made campaign promises to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but then stalled the implementation of the law when faced in office with the realities of a very complex issue.

The law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan votes in both chambers of Congress. The votes of Democratic legislators can probably be explained on purely political grounds. They cannot afford to cede the support of Jewish voters to the Republican Party. However, it is highly likely that there is also a religio-political reason for the congressional action, given the Christian Zionist/Religious Right domination of the Republican Party:

Congress Urges Trump to Move U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

A delegation of more than 100 members of Congress wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, urging him to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem "as soon as you take office," according to correspondence obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The lawmakers wrote to back Trump's campaign pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a policy shift the Obama administration has opposed.

The letter comes days before Trump is to take office. It follows a series of United Nations resolutions supported by the Obama administration condemning Israel for building homes in Jerusalem neighborhoods. . .

The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), urges Trump to send a message to the world that the United States views Jerusalem as "the eternal capital of the Jewish people," according to the missive.

The move would be a decisive break with the current White House, which has long maintained that Jerusalem is not part of Israel. . .

"Israel is one of the United States' closest allies and stands alone in the Middle East for its commitment to democratic ideals. Moving the embassy will strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States and send a clear message to the world that we support Israel in recognizing Jerusalem as its eternal capital," they write. . .

DeSantis told the Free Beacon in a statement that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would send a clear message that America stands with the Jewish people and does not view their claims to Jerusalem as illegitimate.

"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the U.S. should maintain its embassy in Israel's capital city," DeSantis said. "For decades, the State Department has indulged the conceit that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, even though the Jewish presence in Jerusalem goes back thousands of years. I encourage President Trump to send a message to the world that the United States stands with our friends in Israel by relocating our embassy to Jerusalem." (Underscored emphasis added.)


Clearly it is theology that drives the Christian Zionist/Religious Right position on Israel's claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem:

Pro-Israel Christians Rally in Support of US Embassy Relocation to Jerusalem

Aside from its centrality to Jewish history, and its role as Israel’s capital, Jerusalem is also a holy place for many Bible-reading Christians. As such, prominent pro-Israel Christian organizations are lining up to express their support for President Donald Trump’s campaign vow to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and to hold the president accountable for his words. . .

“Hundreds of millions of Christians around the world understand from their Bible the spiritual significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, and that it was established as the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago by King David,” Michael told, adding that Christians “believe the spiritual law of blessing established in Genesis 12 that God will bless those who bless the Jewish people.”

Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, an evangelical Christian organization, and the president of the Christians in Defense of Israel ministry, echoed Michael’s assessment.

“Support for Israel comes from both the Bible, which clearly establishes that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, and from history that confirms the continuity of the connection between Israel and the Jewish people,” Staver told “To deny recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is antisemitic.” . . .

“Support of Israel was one of the motivating factors in the historic evangelical voter turnout for President Trump in this past election,” said Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, a leading pro-Israel Latino Christian initiative. “As evangelicals, we support President Trump’s resolve in moving the embassy to Jerusalem. We believe that the land of Israel, with an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, was given by God to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by way of an eternal covenant, and that no president, prime minister or monarch has any authority to take it away.”


The Christian Zionist/Religious Right advocacy of the relocation of the U.S. Embassy ignores the potential for an eruption of conflict in the Middle East:

Why moving US Embassy to Jerusalem is no way to start a presidency

The possibility of US President-elect Donald Trump's administration actually carrying out his campaign "promise" to move the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem exposes a Pandora’s box of complications that would destroy what little chance exists of a mediated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The genuine worries raised by that specter have only grown following Trump's announcement that he will nominate pro-Israeli-settler, right-wing Jewish bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman welcomed the news by saying he plans to work out of a new embassy office in Jerusalem.

The concern comes not only from Palestinian politicians; it comes from Palestinian, Israeli and US legal and academic experts. Camille Mansour, former professor of international relations at Paris University, told Al-Monitor that if it does take place, the US move will have a devastating effect in a number of areas.

“It is a clear abandonment of the corpus-separatum issue, which Jerusalem has enjoyed since before 1947," he said. A number of consulates were based in Jerusalem — US, Italian, English, Turkish, Spanish, French and Belgian — "based on this separate recognition of the city."

Corpus-separatum refers to a city or region with special legal and political status. The designation falls short of bestowing sovereign status, or that of an independent city-state.

Hanna Issa, a Palestinian expert on international law and a resident of Jerusalem, told Al-Monitor the United Nations has in various ways stressed the special status of Jerusalem. “This definition was made clear in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Resolution 181, and a year later, the status of Jerusalem was reaffirmed in a separate resolution, UNGA 303, in December 1949,” he said.

In the 303 resolution, Jerusalem and its nearby towns of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour were declared part of a UN-supervised international city. Issa noted that the US would not only be going against its own positions, it would be in direct violation of numerous other UN resolutions. He cited 11 UN Security Council resolutions that all say East Jerusalem is an occupied territory "and reject the annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel.”

Gershon Baskin, an Israeli researcher and co-chair of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information, told Al-Monitor he can’t understand why a US move is even being considered. “Until now, not one country has recognized any part of Israel. I think that the international community, the US included, has indicated that the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved by Israel and Palestine, and that unilateral action would not gain Israel recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.” . . .

Any controversial decision regarding the highly sensitive issue of Jerusalem will have negative effects locally, regionally and internationally. When former Jerusalem Mufti Ekrima Sabri delivered his sermon Dec. 16 in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, he said that meddling with Jerusalem is like playing with fire. This is not only true on the popular level; reversing decades of US and international law and practice regarding Jerusalem would have legal and diplomatic fallout.

Trump's smartest strategy will be to avoid beginning his term with a colossal mistake.

Should Christians Support Moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem?

Donald Trump's campaign manager is saying this week that a "very big priority" for the incoming president is to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, citing Jewish-American and evangelical support. But not everyone is so enthused with the idea.

In a Monday radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that the incoming president has "made it very clear during the campaign, and as president-elect," that he would indeed relocate the U.S. embassy, according to the Times of Israel Sunday. Conway also told Hewitt that many Jewish-Americans prefer this and that "evangelical Christians always have Israel at the top of their list when you ask what's most important to them."

Yet much larger issues remain beyond simply transferring America's diplomatic headquarters there from one Israeli city to arguably the most disputed piece of land on the planet.

The Christian Post asked Robert Nicholson, executive director of the New York City-based Philos Project, a nonprofit organization working to revive an intellectually rigorous Christian approach to foreign policy, how Christians should engage this thoughtfully.

"Insofar as we are building a real partnership between the United States and Israel, it makes perfect sense that we would respect the statements and wishes of the Israelis themselves," Nicholson said in a Tuesday phone interview, adding that in the minds of many Israelis and Americans, Jerusalem is Israel's capital.

"Yet for all intents and purposes moving the embassy will not actually change much on the ground. There's an idea that we could inflame the Islamic world, but I actually don't think that is so much of a concern. If anything it is more symbolic to move the embassy," he continued. . .

In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and required that the American embassy move there by May 1999. The legislation also granted the U.S. President the power to delay the move for six months and Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all done so over the years because of security reasons. . . (Underscored emphasis added.)

Meanwhile, J Street, a liberal Jewish advocacy group that is an ardent proponent of the two-state solution, continues to assert that the embassy relocation is unwise and portends many dangers.

Writing yesterday on their website, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami called Jerusalem a "powder keg."

"Even minor changes of the status quo in fact or law have immense symbolic impact and carry the potential to spark violence," he said.

"A decision to move the United States embassy — with its implication that the US recognizes Israel's annexation of Jerusalem — could well spark unrest and violence not only in Jerusalem but across the Arab and Muslim worlds."

"All but the most reckless of American policy makers easily grasp the dangers of making this symbolic and inflammatory move," Ben-Ami said.

Objectively, all of the warnings against the proposed move make perfect sense. What in the world is wrong with the thinking of the Religious Right "Christians" who are clamoring for a "symbolic and inflammatory move." One's mind is directed to the prophecy of the Apostle Paul: "because they received not the love of the truth . . . God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thess. 2:10-11.)

While the Trump administration is busily engaged in roiling the waters of controversy and provoking conflict, the Christian who is committed to the historicist unfolding of Bible prophecies will note the spiritual realities of these times. First, sound Seventh-day Adventist expositions of prophecy, have identified global turmoil and conflict as a sign of the final days of earth's history. At the same time, the great prophecy of Daniel 11:45 will be fulfilled (Cf. JERUSALEM - PAPAL POLICY; and N.B. REDEMPTIONIS ANNO.) Is this fulfillment going to emerge out of the turmoil and conflict likely to be provoked by the Trump presidency, including the Jerusalem Embassy issue?