U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s declaration was loud and clear: “We will move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem!”
This was the candidate’s core promise involving Israel throughout the long, disputatious, campaign season. It was at least a part of why many within the religious right supported the Trump candidacy.
So it was that when President Trump made the announcement after his trip to the Middle East and to Jerusalem a cry of betrayal went up from his base of support. His administration will not for the foreseeable future move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a temporary order on Thursday to keep the U.S. embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv instead of relocating it to Jerusalem, despite his campaign pledge to go ahead with the controversial move.
After months of fierce debate within his administration, Trump chose to continue his predecessors’ policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem, an action that would have complicated his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (“Trump delays moving U.S embassy to Jerusalem despite campaign pledge,” Reuters, By Matt Spetalnick)
The White House was quick to report that the president was by no means lessening his support for Israel. Also, they made clear that the move of the embassy is only delayed. It will still be moved to Jerusalem is the word that continues to come from the administration–thus, though there has been no time table set for such a move.
White House sources said: “The question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
The statement further said that the president’s decision to defer the move for now was made “to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests.”
President Trump said at the 2016 AIPAC conference in Washington DC, “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.” He remained silent about his pledge to make the move, however, following his November 8 election.
There are many within the Christian community who supported him who are worried that this means Trump is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as the saying goes. I am even getting emails, as I wrote last week, from those who are beginning to say he has Antichrist characteristics. Some especially look at his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with suspicion in that regard.
Some believe that the entire matter involving Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Accords on climate change was to create a diversion from the supposed fact that he was betraying his campaign promise regarding the embassy move to Jerusalem.
I harbor no such suspicions–at least not to this point in observing this president’s actions and activities. He has proven a man of his word to this point. He hasn’t not moved the embassy–only delayed that move.
Considering the current climate of distrust and animus between the Jews and their enemy Muslim neighbors, it is, in my opinion, wise to proceed cautiously, while intending fully to move the embassy at the best possible diplomatic moment.
At the same time, I urge the president to move the embassy. It will be an act that shows the desire to bless Israel–never the wrong thing to do.
He has, in my estimation, been very forthright in stating why he made the decision to delay. We will see if he follows through on his White House promise: “The question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
One thing is absolutely certain. God’s touchstone city to the entire world will one day be the capital of the millennial earth. God has reserved great things for this place He calls “the apple of my eye.”
Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. (Zechariah 8:1-4, 8)