President Donald Trump is set to deliver remarks today at 1:00 p.m. EST, clarifying his administration’s apparent plans to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.
This move will reverse decades of American foreign policy, with Trump also expected to announce that we will be moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump’s forthcoming announcement, which he repeatedly promised on the campaign trail, has drawn criticism from Arab and European leaders, along with Pope Francis, who warned that it could unleash a wave of violence in the region.
John O. Brennan, former CIA director, wrote in a statement that the move was “reckless” and could “damage U.S. interests in the Middle East for years to come and will make the region more volatile.”
Others, however, have embraced the decision, particularly pro-Israel Americans and Israel itself. Palestine, not so much.
The embassy move may take years, the White House has noted, with Trump expected to sign a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for the time it takes to finalize a building site. Israel leased America a site for the embassy in 1989, but no administration has yet to make use of the plot of land.
Congress actually voted to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem back in 1995, but each president has declined to actually honor that vote, signing a six-month waiver twice a year for the past 22 years, citing security concerns.
This decision will make the United States the only country to actually place a functioning embassy in the Holy City.
Watch Trump’s remarks live, via the White House, at 1 p.m. EST.
[image via screenshot]
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